Microscopy: Scanning Electron, Environmental Scanning Electron, and Transmission Electron

Authored by: Casey R. Lu , Peter B. Kaufman , Ara Kirakosyan , Leland J. Cseke

Handbook of Molecular and Cellular Methods in Biology and Medicine

Print publication date:  December  2011
Online publication date:  April  2016

Print ISBN: 9781420069389
eBook ISBN: 9781439881958
Adobe ISBN:

10.1201/b11351-46

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Abstract

Electron microscopes (scanning electron microscope/environmental scanning electron microscope (SEM/ESEM) and transmission electron microscope (TEM)) are technologically advanced instruments that have allowed scientists to make major conceptual breakthroughs in cellular and molecular biology. Scanning electron microscopy allows one to visualize 3D images of the surfaces of whole organisms, organs, tissues, and cells or parts of cells, made possible by the large depth-of-field capabilities of the SEM. X-ray analysis of the distribution of elements present in the cells or tissues can be performed with the SEM as well. The ESEM allows one to observe uncoated, hydrated, living organisms and tissues in the SEM. Subcellular ultrastructural studies and immunolocal- ization of specific gene products using antibody labels requires knowledge of TEM and specialized techniques of tissue fixation, embedding, and ultrathin sectioning. Recent advances in lens aber- ration correction have pushed the resolving limit of TEMs below the 1.0 Angstrom dimension in commercially available TEMs, making possible investigations on the subatomic level!

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