Electron microscopy is an indispensable tool in the world of life scientists. Cell biologists and neurologists use electron microscopy to visualize tissues and cells. These microscopes are being used in pathology to better understand the molecular mechanisms of disease. Virologists use these tools to observe individual viruses and virus like particles. The technique is required in the design and testing of novel biomaterials as well as in drug discovery and delivery.
These samples types are normally a major challenge to image in an electron microscope due to inherent low contrast provided by their molecular composition. This is not the case when using either the LVEM5 or LVEM25 microscopes in life sciences applications. Issues with sample contrast are eliminated entirely.
Low energy electrons, as found in the LVEM5 and LVEM25, interact much more strongly with the sample than high energy electrons of classical TEM. In the case of LVEM, electrons are strongly scattered by organic materials resulting in exceptional differentiation of features. The density difference required in a sample to give a 5% contrast difference at 5 kV is a mere 0.074 g/cm3.
The low accelerating voltage, 5kV for the LVEM5 and 25kV for the LVEM25, gives the systems the ability to provide high contrast results with no addition of contrast-enhancing staining procedures. Although there are instances where staining is desirable for diagnostic purposes, the necessity to stain samples in order to generate adequate detailed contrast cannot be viewed as advantageous.
The LVEM25 system is suitable for working with conventionally prepared specimens (thicknesses around ~100nm) and allows for staining as an option. For both the LVEM5 and LVEM25, high contrast result can be acquired from samples in their inherent, natural state. This provides images without the side effects often encountered such as staining artifacts or the sample crashing out by chemical reaction with heavy metals.
For life scientists, getting high contrast images of your unstained samples is something that conventional TEM simply cannot do. The LVEM5 and LVEM25 microscopes provide high quality results unmatched anywhere else.