Life Science Research based on Scanning Electron Microscopy

Volume, Correlative and Automated Imaging

Electron microscopy imaging has been used as a valuable research tool in the Life Sciences for many years. From research of single cell organisms, viruses or eukaryotic cells to identification of synaptic contacts between neurons, the ability to image biological samples in nanometer resolution has proven to be extremely valuable for many areas of biological research. The majority of these examples has been studied using the well-established Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) technique. Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) has shown to meet the resolution and imaging quality of thin section preparation of heavy-metal and resin embedded biological specimens. Furthermore, SEM systems offer intuitive, customizable and highly automated workflows which saves time and improves experiment success rates. Based on sample block-face scanning in combination with milling (e.g. Focused Ion Beam (FIB)) or automated thin-section preparations, SEM enables dramatic resolution improvements in the third dimension above what is possible with TEM. SEM also offers large field of view imaging of organs and whole organisms and hence facilitates applications that have previously been unachievable in the lab. 3D SEM techniques are highly automated and offer easy to conduct workflows for correlative light and electron microscopy studies.

Recent developments in Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectrometry (EDS) are opening new dimensions for biological electron microscopy, adding compositional information to ultrastructural images in the Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) and Focussed Ion Beam (FIB). The additional elemental information can be used to localise endogenous biological elements investigate the location and distribution of nanoparticles, investigate the composition of pollutants and the identify a diverse range of stains and immunolabels.

Key Learnings

  • Learn about modern volume electron microscopy methods and possibilities to integrate them into your research
  • Find out how ZEISS Correlative Workflow Solutions seamlessly connects Light and Electron Microscopy
  • Understand the added value of compositional information using EDS for the identification and interpretation of cell ultrastructure and how this can be used to address a range of research questions

  • Discover how developments in EDS detector technology have significantly increased sensitivity to light elements typical of biological samples and combined with the ability to operate at low accelerating voltages in a scanning electron microscope (SEM), has resulted in exciting opportunities for biological EDS.

15th September 2021 | 3PM NZST

Register for the webinar now!


Dr. Philipp Bastians

BD Manager for Life Science Electron and X-Ray Microscopy, ZEISS APAC

Dr. Philipp Bastians is a Business Development Manager for Life Science Electron and X-Ray Microscopy with ZEISS Research Microscopy Solutions, Asia Pacific. He graduated from Max-Planck-Institute for Brain Research, Frankfurt am Main, Germany with a PhD on “Comparative Cortical Connectomics: Circuit Analysis Across Species and Cortex Types”. His work includes many years of 3D SEM, cryo EM and MultiSEM imaging technology in the labs of Prof. Winfried Denk and Prof. Moritz Helmstaedter.

Dr Julie Sheffield-Parker

Director of Nanospec Pty Ltd

Julie is Director and co-owner of Nanospec Pty Ltd, the sole distributor for Oxford Instruments NanoAnalysis products in Australia, New Zealand and neighbouring Pacific Islands. She holds a First Class Honours degree in Mineral Processing and a Ph.D. from the Camborne School of Mines in the UK. Julie developed an interest in electron microscopy during her Ph.D. studies and since then has been involved in micro-nano characterisation and analytical techniques for more than 30 years, specialising in Energy Dispersive Spectrometry (EDS), Wavelength Dispersive Spectrometry (WDS) and Electron Backscattered Diffraction (EBSD).