A Medical Device Daily

Carl Zeiss (Cambridge, UK) says it has developed a series of solutions addressing the different methods for brain mapping and soft tissue imaging.

"Scientists are right now attacking one of the last secrets of mankind: imaging and reconstruction of the brain," said Dirk Stenkamp, MD, a member of the board at Carl Zeiss SMT. "We specifically enable the acquisition and analysis of cell images at ultra-high resolution. For that purpose we have developed an extensive range of solutions, based on the sophisticated use of advanced electron and ion-beam microscopes," Stenkamp said.

At center stage, with a combination of a special detector system and large framestore, the Sigma FE-SEM is enabling "extremely fast imaging of huge areas of thin sections," according to the company.

"With this system, which is currently being evaluated by several leading research institutes worldwide, throughput is increased by a factor of 100," application product specialist Dr. Stewart Bean from Carl Zeiss SMT's Cambridge facilities said.

The company said that extremely thin sections can be investigated by simultaneous milling and imaging using Zeiss CrossBeam workstations like the NVision 40 or the new Auriga. "This leading-edge FIB/SEM instrument provides high resolution and now also features the possibility of investigating nonconductive samples using a unique local charge compensation method," Carl Zeiss noted. The company said that NVision CrossBeam systems are already in the field for soft tissue analysis at various institutes.

The Orion Helium-ion microscope offers "totally new" imaging possibilities, the company said. "Biological samples especially profit from the unprecedented depth of focus and the high contrast, that are inherent characteristics of imaging with helium ions," said Mohan Ananth, product manager and application specialist at the U.S. headquarters of Carl Zeiss.

Whenever resolution below one nanometer is required, the Libra 120 Plus energy filtering TEM from Carl Zeiss provides the highest contrast imaging of soft tissue, the company said. Libra 120 Plus especially matches the extreme demands in revealing structural and 3-D information of beam sensitive or frozen hydrated specimens at the nano scale. With the Libra 200 FEG energy filtering TEM, resolution in the Angström and even sub-Angström range can be provided, Carl Zeiss said.