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Integrated fluorescence and electron microscope launched

08 Sep 2014

Dutch partnership demos "first" tabletop solution that combines both light- and electron-microscopy methods.

Microscopy systems manufacturer DELMIC, Delft, has collaborated with electron microscope provider Phenom-World, Eindhoven, both in the Netherlands, to jointly develop the Delphi, which they describe as the world’s first integrated correlative tabletop fluorescence and electron microscope. The system makes its public debut this week at the 18th IMC expo and conference in Prague, Czech Republic.

Delphi is a complete solution that enables "fast correlative microscopy with high overlay precision", the partners claim. Their launch announcement says, "the system is easy to use for both light- and electron-microscopists, making correlation intuitive and fully automated. Delphi opens the door to these techniques for all laboratories through a cost-efficient package that does not require experienced microscopy skills to image and interpret data."

'Best of both worlds'

In life science imaging, fluorescence microscopy provides precise localization for specific events while electron microscopy provides detailed structural information with nanoscale resolution. Combined, the two techniques quickly provide a more complete picture for the user with a technique known as Correlative Light & Electron Microscopy or CLEM. In conventional CLEM, the individual techniques are often applied one after another, which can make for significant drawbacks such as the introduction of contamination or changes in sample morphology.

The partners say that Delphi eliminates these problems with its integrated approach to scanning electron and fluorescent correlative microscope. Delphi is designed for simultaneous acquisition, seamlessly switching between techniques. Precision mechanics and a proprietary automated alignment technique using the electron beam allows extremely precise, user-independent overlay of images.

Sander den Hoedt, co-founder and CEO of DELMIC BV, commented, “Working with tabletop SEM developer Phenom-World, has enabled us to design and produce an integrated package for users at an affordable price. The Delphi makes the tedious job of overlaying fluorescence and electron images history. It aligns the images fully automatically with zero errors in the overlay. We provide the user with a fully correlative imaging solution in a single package.”

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