- Completely automated data acquisition with days of uninterrupted collection.
- High sustained data collection of >100 megapixels / second.
- No missing data using advanced interferometric stage positioning and constant beam validation.
- “Normal SEM” using the Thermo Fisher Apreo as the underlying workhorse.
- More affordable than other multibeam systems.
Connectomics, FAST-EM, and the Future of Cell Biology
The quest to better understand how cells and tissues function starts with visualizing them in 3D. While confocal imaging provides powerful 3D reconstructions in light microscopy, it lacks the resolution needed to visualize the connections between cells. Even x-ray microscopy doesn’t provide the needed resolution for seeing these connections. To solve the task of creating “connectomic” reconstructions at the sub-cellular level, electron microscopy must be used. SEM is an excellent choice for imaging, but collecting the amount of data needed to reconstruct even a fruit fly brain would take years of uninterrupted imaging. However, by using multibeam SEM technology we can transform a normal, single beam SEM into one that has 64 beams for parallel imaging. This greatly increases the amount of data that can be collected and makes it possible to image larger volumes.
The ability to reconstruct large volumes of brain, eye, heart, lung, kidney, and other tissues in high resolution is helping researchers understand the root causes of disease and form effective therapeutics against these illnesses. The FAST-EM is designed for automation, reliability, and to be a workhorse for data collection in connectomics along with other 3D biological reconstructions.