Posted: August 6, 2009

FEI's Automated Molecular Imaging Solution Will be Used to Understand the Causes of Disease

(Nanowerk News) FEI Company, a leading provider of three-dimensional (3D) molecular, cellular and atomic-scale imaging systems, today announced that the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) has installed a multi-million dollar Titan Krios™ transmission electron microscope (TEM) from FEI. In an effort to understand the causes of disease, UCLA's Dr. Hong Zhou, director of the newly-established Electron Imaging Center for NanoMachines (EICN), part of the California NanoSystems Institute, has initiated high-resolution molecular imaging studies using the new Titan Krios TEM.
The Titan Krios is specifically designed for 3D molecular imaging applications where samples are imaged at cryogenic temperatures, which preserves the biological samples in their native hydrated state. The microscope's ability to generate images used in the creation of 3D molecular structures with resolutions as small as a few tenths of a nanometer allows scientists to investigate the structure and function of biological nanomachines at the molecular scale.
"We are very pleased to begin the next phase of our partnership with UCLA," said Matthew Harris, FEI's vice president and general manager of the Life Sciences Division. "Dr. Zhou and his colleagues recently achieved breakthrough results in 3D molecular reconstruction with resolution better than four Angstroms using an FEI Tecnai Polara™ TEM. We are confident that Dr. Zhou will continue to push the boundaries of molecular imaging, and we look forward to supporting him with many groundbreaking discoveries using the Titan Krios."
Dr. Zhou adds, "The advanced optics, automation and cryo capabilities of the Titan Krios are absolutely essential for our research in nanobiology and nanomedicine. Developments in these areas will expand opportunities to contribute to major advances in rational drug design and targeted delivery, and ultimately advance us towards biology-inspired nanomachines."
Recent advances have made cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) an important imaging tool for major applications in both medicine and nanobiological research. Researchers can use cryo-EM to visualize a broad range of assemblies or nanometer-scale structures at near-atomic resolution and in three dimensions. This imaging method covers a scale range from tens of micrometers to Angstroms and provides valuable structural information for numerous scientific disciplines including structural biology, cell biology, medical and pharmaceutical science.
The Titan Krios TEM will be publicly debuted at a symposium entitled, "Advanced Electron Microscopy in NanoMedicine," to be held October 2-3, 2009, at the EICN. Featuring in-depth talks by leading structural biologists and poster presentations by both academic and industrial researchers, the symposium will cover a wide range of topics, including: cryo-sample preparation; high-resolution cryo-electron microscopy imaging; and advances in 3D molecular reconstruction techniques, such as electron tomography and single particle analysis.
About FEI
FEI is a leading diversified scientific instruments company. It is a premier provider of electron and ion-beam microscopes and tools for nanoscale applications across many industries: industrial and academic materials research, life sciences, semiconductors, data storage, natural resources and more. With a 60-year history of technological innovation and leadership, FEI has set the performance standard in transmission electron microscopes (TEM), scanning electron microscopes (SEM) and DualBeams™, which combine a SEM with a focused ion beam (FIB). FEI's imaging systems provide 3D characterization, analysis and modification/prototyping with resolutions down to the sub-Angstrom (one-tenth of a nanometer) level. FEI's NanoPorts in North America, Europe and Asia provide centers of technical excellence where its world-class community of customers and specialists collaborate. FEI has approximately 1800 employees and sales and service operations in more than 50 countries around the world.
Source: FEI (press release)
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