Published July 17, 2012
Volume 20, Number 6

Gatan and Carl Zeiss Microscopy Collaborate to Produce 3D Imaging System  
Hacienda Company's New 3View Technology Will Offer Increased Ease of Use for Scientists 

Gatan’s corporate headquarters is on West Las Positas Boulevard in Hacienda.

By Nicole Zaro Stahl

The life science community is poised to reap the gains of a new joint project between Hacienda’s Gatan Inc. and Carl Zeiss Microscopy. The alliance unites the significant capabilities of Zeiss, an international supplier of light and electron microscopes (EMs), with the strengths of Gatan, a leader in the design and manufacture of instrumentation and software that enhances EM performance.

In their first initiative, the companies will promote the development and sales of systems that combine a high-performance Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscope (FE-SEM) with Gatan’s 3View technique. The result is automated generation of “high-resolution three-dimensional (3D) data from large-volume samples,” according to Gatan.

The electron microscope (EM) uses a beam of electrons controlled by electrostatic and electromagnetic “lenses” to produce a magnified image. First developed in the early 1930s, the instrument offered a vast improvement in resolution and magnification over traditional optical (lens) microscopes. Early applications were built for biologic specimens; now the EM is used to observe a wide range of specimens, from large molecules and biopsy samples to metals and crystals. Industrial applications include quality control and failure analysis. Contemporary electron microscopes are capable of two million-power magnification.

Gatan’s 3View simplifies 3D electron microscopy so researchers without EM expertise can collect the high-resolution volumetric datasets they need.

“An essential biological question is how three-dimensional geometry of cellular structures is organized,” explains the Gatan website. The company’s 3View technique has been developed to streamline that information-gathering challenge, “removing the traditional bottleneck of laborious cutting and collecting of ultrathin sections for later examination by TEM,” or transmission electron microscope, which looks through samples instead of at the surface. “3View does not require the user to master difficult techniques to produce a complete data set,” the site continues.  It eliminates human error by completely automating the process.

According to Ben Wood, Acting President of Gatan, “The Zeiss-Gatan system offers a level of automation and ease-of-use that will make it available to many new markets and researchers.” 

“We are very glad that Zeiss is joining us in bringing instrumentation to a wider audience,” adds Kevin Scudder, General Manager of Gatan’s SEM Products Division. “Their expertise in the fields of light and confocal microscopy will add greatly to the development of this technique in the life science community. We look forward to adoption by optical microscope users, where 3D data is appreciated, but there is a desire for far higher resolution than possible optically, but still with large volumes of sample analyzed."

Gatan was originally founded in Pennsylvania in 1964, introducing its first major product for the EM market in 1979. It first came to California in 1983 with the opening of an R&D facility in Pleasanton. Since then the company has greatly expanded its technology into analytical applications and TEM digital imaging. Now a division of Roper Industries, Gatan moved into its corporate headquarters at 5794 W. Las Positas Blvd. from smaller offices on Coronado Lane in 2007. Its manufacturing operation is in Warrendale, Pa., with other development operations in Oxford, England, and offices and dealers throughout the world.

For more information, visit www.Gatan.com


Also in this issue ...