The SECOM platform combines fluorescence and electron microscopy in one device, integrating functional and structural data with revolutionary ease and efficiency.
In the life sciences, the SECOM platform can be used for easily and quickly combining light and electron microscopy. In one device, the SECOM platform allows the user to obtain functional color information through fluorescence microscopy and structural information by using the scanning electron microscope. As the optical axes of both microscopes are very precisely aligned, the overlay of the fluorescent and electron images becomes as easy as drag-and-drop.
Beyond fluorescence microscopy
Fluorescence microscopy has become an indispensable tool in life science research, for
its ability to map functional information. Inverted fluorescence microscopes boast superior brightness, high resolution, fast image acquisition, and flexibility in imaging techniques and light sources.
However, fluorescence microscopy does not detect structural detail. Fluorescence information can only be interpreted fully when it is mapped to structural information.
The best tool for imaging structural detail is the electron microscope. The SECOM platform combines a scanning electron microscope and an optical microscope in one device, enabling researchers
to acquire accurately correlated fluorescence and electron microscopy data at the press of a button. Avoid the time drain of adding another microscope to finely tuned protocols – the SECOM platform is easily integrated in your existing workflow and offers all the features of a high-end optical microscope. Our specially developed vacuum compatible immersion oil even allows you to obtain the same numerical apertures known from conventional fluorescence microscopy. The SECOM platform is efficient and easy to use, and delivers the highest performance.
What is the SECOM platform?
SECOM is a retrofit that equips a scanning electron microscope (SEM) with an inverted fluorescence microscope.
The platform replaces the door to the vacuum chamber of the SEM. This replacement supports a motorized stage and the objective and light path for the optical microscope. The large SECOM stage can accommodate all the usual sample sizes for fluorescence microscopy. The platform is easily installed and removed.
An intuitive software package, designed to easily acquire both types of information, controls the SECOM stage and the most important settings for both the fluorescence and the electron microscope. Correlation between electron microscopy and optical microscopy data is unrivalled; the electron and light beam axes are aligned to within 0.2 μm and, through proprietary methodology, an overlay accuracy of 50 nm or better can be achieved. The integration of both microscopes in one device enables high-throughput correlative microscopy. In addition, the SECOM platform is fully compatible with the whole range of detector modalities available for SEMs.
The SECOM platform gives you ease of use, high productivity, and unparalleled correlation precision.
Tissue biology and thin sections
The SECOM platform is an excellent tool for research on tissue biology and thin sections. High quality fluorescence imaging allows for precise localization of many different fluorescent labels, while the SEM delivers detailed structural information that far surpasses traditional optical histology results.
• Supports large samples and array tomography
• High resolution (5 nm or better)
• Multi-color source allows use of different labels
Current fluorescence microscopy methods make it possible to acquire detailed images of the intracellular distribution of fluorescent labels.
The SEM provides powerful visuals about cell membrane configuration and structure, integrating information about morphology and distribution.
• Detailed fluorescence information
• Easy sample navigation, guided by fluorescence
• Detailed structural information
Biomaterials science and biological engineering make innovative use of many imaging techniques developed in both life sciences and materials sciences. The SECOM platform offers new possibilities for characterization and analysis of bioengineered materials and tissues, and the combination of functional and structural information makes it ideally suited for investigating the interactions between tissues and foreign materials.
• Compatible with energy-dispersive X-ray (EDX) detector for investigating chemical composition
• Correlates fluorescence information to structural information of biomaterials
• High resolution for visualization of nano particles articles
Make it your own
The above is just a selection of the possibilities.
The SECOM platform opens up new prospects in the field of imaging: it offers excellent image quality for both fluorescence and electron microscopy in one device. Since the sample is not transported between microscopes, contamination and probability of sample damage is reduced.
We are interested in hearing about all the innovative ways in which you could use the SECOM platform, and we are always available to discuss custom options.
How do I get one?
If you already own a SEM, we can quickly install your SECOM platform. If you do not yet have a SEM, we can advise you in the process of purchasing a SEM that fits well with the platform. The platform
is compatible with many different types of SEMs – please inquire for details.
Custom SECOM platform?
We can adapt the platform for custom optical excitation and detection paths, we can design and build custom sample holders, and we are committed to finding the best way to approach your customization ideas.