New microscope to help scientists study cancer, diabetes and multiple sclerosis
The “secrets of life” can be discovered with the new microscope that was created at FEI . This microscope has recently been installed at Monash University , Melbourne, Australia. A cryoelectronic microscope is able to show scientists the molecular structure of various types of tissues in very high resolution. According to the head of the project, Professor James Wisstock, working with such a system is a joy for the scientist.
Whistock hopes that the microscope (its name is FEI Titan Krios) will help to better study diseases such as cancer of various types, diabetes and multiple sclerosis. The study of these diseases is required to understand the mechanism of the onset and existence of the disease in order to find a cure for treatment.
“Understanding our immune system is a key factor in the fight against cancer, infectious diseases such as malaria, and autoimmune diseases, including diabetes and multiple sclerosis. The key to understanding and curing these diseases is knowing how proteins and cells interact at the molecular level, ”says the professor.
The principle of operation of the device is to “bombard” with a beam of high-energy electrons a sample frozen in liquid ethane at a temperature of about 200 degrees below zero. Some electrons are reflected or absorbed by the molecules of the sample substance. Reflected beams allow you to create a two-dimensional map of the sample. And the compilation of a large number of 2D photographs allows you to create three-dimensional models.
The cost of the project to create such a microscope amounted to 5 million US dollars. The size of the device is 3 meters (in height), it is an extremely complex system that really allows you to see molecular structures.