Navigation Links
Potential leap forward in electron microscopy
Date:10/6/2009

Results: MIT electrical engineers have proposed a new scheme that can overcome a critical limitation of high-resolution electron microscopes: they cannot be used to image living cells because the electrons destroy the samples. The researchers suggest using a quantum mechanical measurement technique that allows electrons to sense objects remotely without ever hitting the imaged objects, thus avoiding damage.

Why it matters: A non-invasive electron microscope could shed light on fundamental questions about life and matter, allowing researchers to observe molecules inside a living cell without disturbing them. If successful, such microscopes would surmount what Nobel laureate Dennis Gabor concluded in 1956 was the fundamental limitation of electron microscopy: "The destruction of the object by the exploring agent."

How it works: Traditional electron microscopes use a particle beam of electrons, instead of light, to image specimens. These beams offer extremely high resolution, up to 0.2 to 10 nanometers 10 to 1,000 times greater than a traditional light microscope.

In contrast, with the new proposed quantum mechanical setup, electrons would not directly strike the object being imaged. Instead, an electron would flow around one of two rings, arranged one above the other. The rings would be close enough together that the electron could hop easily between them. However, if an object (such as a cell) were placed between the rings, it would prevent the electron from hopping, and the electron would be trapped in one ring.

This setup would scan one "pixel" of the specimen at a time, putting them all together to create the full image. Whenever the electron is trapped, the system would know that there is a dark pixel in that spot.

Next steps: Assistant Professor Mehmet Fatih Yanik, senior author of the paper, says he expects the work "will likely ignite experimental efforts around the world for its realization, with perhaps the first prototype appearing in five years or so."

Though technical challenges need to be overcome (such as preventing the charged electron from interacting with other metals in the microscope), Yanik believes that eventually such a microscope could achieve single-nanometer resolution. That level of resolution would allow scientists to view molecules such as enzymes and nucleic acids inside living cells.


'/>"/>

Contact: Jen Hirsch
jfhirsch@mit.edu
617-253-1682
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology technology :

1. Systems Medicine (SM), a Subsidiary of Cell Therapeutics, Inc. (CTI), Announces Execution of CRADA with NCI/NIH to Develop Potential Cancer Treatments Targeting the Insulin Growth Factor (IGF) Pathway
2. Study Published in Clinical Cancer Research Confirms Potential Of Peregrines Bavituximab Combined With Radiation In Lung Cancer
3. Gladstone scientists uncover potential mechanism of memory loss in Alzheimers disease
4. New Data Presented on Immunocytokine Fusion Protein Further Supports Broad Anti-Cancer Potential Of Peregrines Anti-PS Technology Platform
5. Pharmaceutical Product Launch: Commercially Focused R&D Increases Drugs Market Potential
6. Agendia Acquires Rights to the Discovery of a Major Drug Resistance Mechanism in Breast Cancer Potentially Leading to a Herceptin(R) Sensitivity Test
7. AEterna Zentaris to Further Develop Three Follow-up Multi-targeted Cytotoxic Candidates to AEZS-112 as Potential Novel Cancer Treatment
8. Lexicon Files Investigational New Drug Application for LX1032 as a Potential Treatment for Carcinoid Syndrome
9. Discovery of creator gene for cerebral cortex points to potential stem cell treatments
10. Research Using Thermo Fisher Scientific RNA-Interference Technology Unveils Potential New Targets for HIV Drugs
11. Study by Leading Economist Identifies Potential for $378 Billion of Savings From Follow On Biologics
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... BioMedGPS announces expanded ... of its newest module, US Hemostats & Sealants. , SmartTRAK’s US Market for ... fibrin sealants, synthetic sealants and biologic sealants used in surgical applications. BioMedGPS estimates ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... first-ever genomics analysis platform specifically designed for life science researchers to analyze ... pioneering researcher Rosalind Franklin, who made a major contribution to the discovery ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... LINDA, CA (PRWEB) , ... October 11, 2017 ... ... to upregulate any gene in its endogenous context, enabling overexpression experiments and avoiding ... (CRISPRa) system with small RNA guides is transformative for performing systematic gain-of-function studies. ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... Palo Alto, CA, USA (PRWEB) , ... October 11, 2017 , ... ... is set to take place on 7th and 8th June 2018 in San Francisco, ... and policy influencers as well as several distinguished CEOs, board directors and government officials ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:8/23/2017)... , Aug. 23, 2017  The general public,s help is being enlisted ... bacteria that live in and on the human body –and are believed ... The Microbiome Immunity ... human microbiome, starting with the gut. The project's goal is to help ... credit: IBM ...
(Date:6/30/2017)... 2017 Today, American Trucking Associations announced ... face and eye tracking software, became the newest ... "Artificial intelligence and advanced sensing ... a driver,s attentiveness levels while on the road.  ... detect fatigue and prevent potential accidents, which could ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... robotic gym for the rehabilitation and functional motor sense evaluation of lower ... . The first 30 robots will be available from June in ... The technology was developed and patented at the IIT laboratories and has ... to a 10 million euro investment from entrepreneur Sergio Dompè. ... ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):