It was great to see the premier microscopy event of 2022 taking place again as an in-person event at the beautiful Oregon Convention Center in Portland last week. Attendance numbers may not have been at their 2019 event levels, nonetheless, it was great to be able to network with both existing and new contacts as well as to see the latest microscopy offerings from the equipment vendors who were exhibiting at the event.
There were a number of ongoing trends in the microscopy industry that stood out as one attended the Platform Presentations, browsed the exhibition stands and wandered by the rows of poster presentations;
- the growing number of imaging modalities (and their associated acronyms) that are evolving, especially in the area of electron microscopy and fluorescence microscopy. In the electron microscopy space alone, we have cryo-EM, cryo-ET, SEM, TEM, FIB-SEM, SBF-SEM, vEM, etc
- the continued growth of ‘cryo’ as a fixation technique, with the associated sample preparation techniques.
- the increasing use of x-ray imaging in biological cell imaging
- the growing interest in imaging across scales, with an ability to zoom out from the molecular level to see whole cells and to see inter-cellular interactions.
- the continued growth in correlative imaging techniques, and
- last, but not least, the continued growing interest in imaging cells at high resolutions in their native state, without having to slice or stain the cells in order to do so.
While the growing number of imaging techniques can be confusing for end users, once they are clearly explained they will provide disease and drug researchers with the ability to choose the best technique for the specific research question they need to answer.
SiriusXT is very excited to be part of these evolving trends. The introduction of the SXT-100 Soft X-ray Microscope at M&M 2022, the first commercially available table-top instrument of its kind, is helping increase the awareness and benefits of Soft X-ray Tomography. The SXT-100 is focused on applications where there is a need, for example, to;
- to measure the total volume or distribution of an organelle throughout a whole cell
- to provide a quantitative measure of variability between cells, which is possible due to relative high cell-imaging throughput, allowing larger sample numbers of cells to be imaged.
- To detect events that occur very infrequently in a cell and where an image projection of a whole cell can quickly identify such events.
- To image delicate organelle where the slicing and staining of the cell, which is required by other techniques, could damage these organelles.
In addition to exhibiting at M&M 2022, SiriusXT presented two papers and one poster on the SXT-100. Two further papers and one poster, presented by researchers at the Diamond and Berkeley synchrotrons, helped publicise the benefits of soft x-ray tomography to attendees. Links to all four paper abstracts are provided.
Read SiriusXT paper abstract here: Laboratory Cryo Soft X-ray Tomography Reveals Cellular Ultrastructure at the Nanoscale
Read SiriusXT paper abstract here: Laboratory Cryo Soft X-ray Tomography for Label-Free Imaging of Bulk Samples
Read Diamond paper abstract here: Synchrotron Radiation and Laser Light Microscopy Partnership for the Study of Biological Systems: The Case of Soft X-ray Tomography and Structured Illumination Microscopy at Cryogenic Temperatures