High-Resolution Ultrastructural Imaging – Explore Biological Specimens with Electron Microscopy
Microscopy Applications for Life Sciences

High-Resolution Ultrastructural Imaging

Explore Biological Specimens with Electron Microscopy

You are pushing for the highest resolution that only electron microscopy can provide. You may be hunting for a 3D understanding of small structures buried deep in your samples. Or you want to gain a better understanding of ultrastructure in its native state. ZEISS electron microscopy offers solutions for high resolution, structural imaging of biological specimens, supporting cell or cancer research, microbiology or virology, immunology, neuroscience, embryology, or developmental biology to plant sciences.

Mouse brain, OTO stained, imaged with ZEISS GeminiSEM 300. Sample courtesy of C. Genoud, FMI, Basel, Switzerland
Mouse brain, OTO stained, imaged with ZEISS GeminiSEM 300. Sample courtesy of C. Genoud, FMI, Basel, Switzerland

Mouse brain, OTO stained, imaged with ZEISS GeminiSEM 300.
Sample courtesy of C. Genoud, FMI, Basel, Switzerland

Mouse brain, OTO stained, imaged with ZEISS GeminiSEM 300.
Sample courtesy of C. Genoud, FMI, Basel, Switzerland

High-Resolution Imaging for Ultrastructural Information

Achieve high-contrast imaging with resolution down to sub-nanometer with field emission scanning electron microscopes, including the ZEISS GeminiSEM family and ZEISS Sigma family. Experience TEM-like imaging with your FE-SEM for precise visualization of intracellular structures, organelles and viruses in your ultrathin sections of resin-embedded samples.

Mouse extraocular muscle with reconstructed peripheral nerve. 3D data created using block face imaging inside a FE-SEM. Courtesy of P. Munro, University College London, United Kingdom

High-Resolution 3D Imaging Without Prior Sectioning

High resolution 3D imaging provides detailed structural investigations of single cells to large tissues, including connectomics studies, to entire organisms for developmental biology research.

Use integrated block face imaging inside your FE-SEM with ZEISS 3View to slice your sample block directly in the chamber and image after each slice. This method allows for investigation of larger 3D volumes – up to several million cubic micrometers – with Z-thickness slices down to 15 nm.

Or use focused ion beam milling with ZEISS Crossbeam and achieve Z resolutions of down to 3 nm for ultra high-resolution 3D imaging using FIB-SEM tomography.

  • High resolution, 3D morphology of the entire organism, C. elegans. Courtesy: A. Steyer and Y. Schwab, European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Germany, and S. Markert and C. Stigloher, University of Wuerzburg, Germany
Mouse brain section, maximum acquisition speed of 1.22 gigapixels/second.
Mouse brain section, maximum acquisition speed of 1.22 gigapixels/second.

Mouse brain section, maximum acquisition speed of 1.22 gigapixels/second.
Courtesy of J. Lichtman, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA.

Mouse brain section, maximum acquisition speed of 1.22 gigapixels/second.
Courtesy of J. Lichtman, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA.

Scanning Electron Microscopy at Record Speed for Large Tissue Sections

ZEISS has developed a novel multi-beam SEM technology for imaging large sample areas, the ZEISS MultiSEM family. In partnership with sample preparation robots, MultiSEM dramatically speeds up the acquisition of 3D ultraresolution data through array tomography. Mapping larger (1 mm³) brain tissue, such as for connectomics analyses, or other tissue volumes at high resolution is now within reach.

Investigation of mitotic cells in C. elegans. Reconstruction of cellular structures. Courtesy of Kedar Narayan, National Cancer Institute / NIH and Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research

Investigate Structure and Function at Near Native State with Cryo FE-SEM

Native morphology can only be observed when you freeze your sample instead of using chemical fixatives. ZEISS field emission SEMs and FIB-SEMs support cryo workflows and can image your delicate samples with outstanding performances at low voltages. ZEISS has also developed a seamless Correlative Cryo Workflow which connects widefield, laser scanning and focused ion beam scanning electron microscopy in a seamless and easy-to-use procedure.

Cross section of a mouse tongue imaged with scanning electron microscope in variable pressure mode.
Cross section of a mouse tongue imaged with scanning electron microscope in variable pressure mode.

Cross section of a mouse tongue imaged with scanning electron microscope in variable pressure mode.
Courtesy of R. Reimer, Heinrich Pette Institute, Germany

Cross section of a mouse tongue imaged with scanning electron microscope in variable pressure mode.
Courtesy of R. Reimer, Heinrich Pette Institute, Germany

Topography Imaging

Get unsurpassed surface morphology imaging on a wide range of samples with an SEM, such as ZEISS EVO, or FE-SEM, such as ZEISS Sigma – without coating or sophisticated sample preparation. Image uncoated insects or bone material, wet specimens, grid sections, resin embedded block faces or vitrified samples. Use variable pressure to control environmental conditions in the chamber and image samples under low vacuum conditions.

  • Scales on an uncoated butterfly wing, Cethosia biblis, imaged with scanning electron microscopy in variable pressure mode

    Scales on an uncoated butterfly wing, Cethosia biblis, imaged with scanning electron microscopy in variable pressure mode

  • Pollen attached to a hibiscus plant leaf, imaged with scanning electron microscopy in variable pressure mode.

    Pollen attached to a hibiscus plant leaf, imaged with scanning electron microscopy in variable pressure mode.

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    * The images shown on this page represent research content. ZEISS explicitly excludes the possibility of making a diagnosis or recommending treatment for possibly affected patients on the basis of the information generated with an Axioscan 7 slide scanner.