New Serial Block Face Scanning EM Installed

New Serial Block Face Scanning Electron Microscope

The “new” new Serial Block Face Scanning Electron Microscope is alive and well. The original one, purchased with a $1.3M grant from NIH awarded to Sara Miller, PhD, arrived in February, but was destroyed in shipping.  Since these instruments are custom made, a new one had to be ordered, and though insured, it meant a 4-month delay.  The replacement arrived in late June, and is finally working well.

This instrument can not only perform high resolution examination of cell surface structures, but also can provide images of cells deep inside tissue.  To “see inside cells” the microscope records a picture of electrons backscattered (bounced back up) from the tissue block face; then an internal ultramicrotome shaves off a thin section of the tissue, and the microscope images the underlying surface.  This process is repeated hundreds of times.  The individual micrographs are subsequently computer-reconstructed into a 3-dimensional block of tissue that can be viewed at any level. See the banner on the EM page for an example of the concept.

 

Dr. Miller with lab manager Dr. Ricardo Vancini and the working microscope
Dr. Miller with lab manager Dr. Ricardo Vancini and the working microscope

These photographs chronicle the arrival of 12 huge crates weighing a total of over 3 tons and the installation of the instrument.  The topmost image shows Dr. Miller with the delivery of the massive main unit in its crate. 
Below, boxes of parts line the second floor hall. 

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A consultation of Pathology Informatics experts Chris and Gene with the microscope engineer Alan
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Training on the instrument of Dr. Miller and lab manager Dr. Ricardo Vancini by the engineer Mike
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