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Electron Microscopy in Medicine and Biology: Methods and Recent Developments

  • P. W. Hawkes
Conference paper
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Part of the Springer Series in Optical Sciences book series (SSOS, volume 31)

Abstract

“The history of biomedical science is in large measure a chronicle of the invention of new instruments and ingenious new analytical methods. The development of the transmission electron microscope was clearly one of the most momentous events in the long history of biology... The introduction of the electron microscope... has progressively obliterated the boundary between the structurally and functionally oriented disciplines” (34). These remarks by FAWCETT, supported as they are by a wealth of experimental evidence, show convincingly the importance of the electron microscope to biologists from the 1950s onwards. In the remainder of this introduction, we draw attention to some other historical aspects of electron microscopy after which subsequent sections are devoted to recent developments in image interpretation. The history of biological electron microscopy is at once the history of instrumental development and the history of specimen preparation techniques, and for technical and even commercial reasons, these have always been intimately related. Thus the vast majority of commercial electron microscopes nowadays operate at around 100 kV (λ ≃ 4 pm) or less, since microtomes are available to cut very thin sections; electrons with energies of the order of 100 keV can penetrate these sections with little loss of energy. Before such microtomes were on the market, however, microscope manufacturers were actively developing much higher voltage machines, generating electrons that could penetrate the thick specimens then in use; this effort was abandoned for many years with the advent of the new “ultramicrotomes” (100).

Keywords

Electron Microscope Image Scanning Transmission Electron Microscope Electron Energy Loss Spectroscopy Horseshoe Crab Spherical Aberration 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. W. Hawkes
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratoire d’Optique Electronique du C.N.R.S.Toulouse CedexFrance

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