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