FEI Introduces New Cryo Sample Prep Tool for Organic Samples

The Vitrobot(TM) Ensures Automated Sample Vitrification for Real-Time

2D & 3D Cryo Observations of Macromolecular Structures for Proteomics and

Nanotechnology Applications

Nov 30, 2005, 00:00 ET from FEI Company

    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.