HILLSBORO, Ore., Nov. 30 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- FEI Company (Nasdaq: FEIC) has introduced the next-generation Vitrobot(TM), a fully-automated vitrification device for plunge-freezing of aqueous samples. The advanced system maintains the cryo-fixation process at constant and user-definable physical and mechanical conditions, delivering reproducible sample freezing and high throughput, thus setting a new standard for preparation of cryo samples and 3D observations of proteins and molecular machines in their natural state. Cryo fixation and subsequent imaging of aqueous samples at cryo temperatures in a transmission electron microscope (TEM) is experiencing increased usage in the field of NanoBiology. The chemical and pharmaceutical industry also has a growing need for studying colloidal solutions of polymers, pigments and other nanoparticles as part of development and production processes or quality control. "The unraveling of the human genome and the subsequent demand for the exploration of genomic functionality, as part of the development of new medical therapeutics, has accelerated the need to reveal numerous macromolecular interactions between genetic material, proteins, membranes and cell organelles in their native state," said Rob Fastenau, senior vice president and general manager of FEI's NanoBiology Division. "High resolution cryo-EM allows the study of all these structures and interactions at the 2D and subsequently 3D level, provided that the natural state of these structures is well preserved by cryo fixation," added Fastenau. The Vitrobot's easy, straightforward and reproducible control of the vitrification process makes it a flexible tool for multi-user scientific environments. Its controlled environment climate technology prevents cooling and concentration artifacts that are inevitable in other "open space" freezing methods. All essential vitrification parameters such as temperature, relative humidity, the number of blottings, blotting pressure and drain time can be programmed for individual applications and set for automatic retrieval. Once the proper specimen-specific freezing parameters are set, the plunge-freezing session is almost fully automatic and reproducible. The Vitrobot also features a newly-designed, software-controlled user interface that makes cryo fixation easier than ever. The Vitrobot was developed in cooperation with researchers from the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands. About FEI Company: FEI's Tools for Nanotech(TM), featuring focused ion- and electron-beam technologies, deliver 3D characterization, analysis and modification capabilities with resolution down to the sub-Angstrom level and provide innovative solutions for customers working in NanoBiology, NanoResearch and NanoElectronics. The company's products for NanoBiology address a robust set of applications including 3D tomography and advanced analysis and characterization. With R&D centers in North America and Europe, and sales and service operations in more than 40 countries around the world, FEI is bringing the nanoscale within the grasp of leading researchers and manufacturers and helping to turn some of the biggest ideas of this century into reality. More information can be found on the FEI website at: http://www.feicompany.com . This news release contains forward-looking statements that include statements about future performance and new applications of the new Vitrobot(TM). Factors that could affect these forward-looking statements include but are not limited to failure of the new tool hardware and applications to function as expected and the inability of customers to develop and deploy the expected new applications or to achieve the performance described. Please also refer to our Form 10-K, Forms 10-Q, Forms 8-K and other filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for additional information on these factors and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements. FEI assumes no duty to update forward-looking statements.
SOURCE FEI Company