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Posted: Sep 18, 2012
SiMPore Collaborates with KonTEM To Improve TEM Imaging For Biomedical Researchers
(Nanowerk News) SiMPore, Inc., of Rochester, NY, USA and KonTEM GmbH of Bonn, Germany, announce their collaboration to develop phase contrast solutions for transmission electron microscopy (TEM).
An electron microscope uses a beam of electrons instead of light to illuminate an object of interest. It allows the object to be observed at one-million-times magnification or greater. In theory, this level of magnification should permit biomedical researchers to see the structure of a virus or similarly sized biological molecule. However, imaging these kinds of structures remains practically difficult due to the weak manner in which biological molecules interact with the TEM's electron beam. Phase contrast imaging promises to overcome this inherent limitation by significantly increasing the contrast of biological structures, allowing researchers to visualize these samples more easily using TEM.
This collaboration combines SiMPore's expertise in thin-film fabrication with KonTEM's knowledge in thin-film preparation, micromanipulation and TEM operation. Together, the two companies will provide a complete solution that increases the practicality of phase contrast TEM. SiMPore will supply KonTEM with phase plate materials, core components of phase contrast systems, for distribution with KonTEM's automated, highly precise, phase plate positioning system.
With its modular design, the KonTEM phase contrast system can be incorporated into new and previously installed microscopes. The companies will also collaborate on the further development of next-generation phase plates.
The companies believe their combined efforts will fulfill researchers' demands for an integrated, retro-fittable and user-friendly TEM phase contrast solution. By incorporating SiMPore's advanced thin-film materials and phase plates, the KonTEM system holds the potential to deliver on the long-sought-after promise of phase contrast TEM. KonTEM has already begun placing systems at selected sites and will expand its sales and installation efforts more widely in the coming weeks.
About SiMPore Inc.
SiMPore is commercializing novel, patented nano-membrane technologies enabling new discoveries while also reducing the time and cost of everyday development processes in the life sciences. SiMPore develops and sells nano-membrane-based products, including filters for separating and concentrating biological molecules and nanoparticles, cell culture substrates for growing cells, and electron microscopy grids for preparing and imaging samples at the nanoscale.
TEMwindows.com, a division of SiMPore Inc., is the online source of innovative sample preparation solutions for the imaging and analysis of nanoscale materials. TEMwindows.com features state-of-the-art transmission electron microscopy windows that enable researchers to characterize their cutting-edge nanomaterials. By incorporating the latest MEMS and thin film technologies, TEMwindows.com provides researchers with the resources to advance their research and development programs. TEMwindows.com is fully integrated with, and supported by, the technical expertise at SiMPore.
KonTEM GmbH, of Bonn, Germany, is a spin-off company of the Max-Planck-Gesellschaft (MPG) and the Center Of Advanced European Studies And Research (caesar). The company has developed an innovative phase contrast system for transmission electron microscopes (TEM). The system combines enhanced image contrast with high object resolution and thus opens up new possibilities for the analysis of biological specimens.