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Bio Imaging & Life Science

Bio Imaging & Life Science

Electron microscopy (EM) has been used for over 70 years in biological research, from tissue and cell ultrastructure down to the molecular organisation of proteins and macromolecules. EM is often used in combination with a variety of additional techniques, in the hope of linking structure to function and gaining a better understanding of life science specimens. Oxford Instruments NanoAnalysis provides tools, cameras, and analytical systems that are optimised for applications in life sciences, improving sensitivity, increasing throughput, and changing how we interpret biological information from the basic units of life through to complex medical research.

Layered EDS maps showing the distribution of elements in an unstained plant cell
Layered EDS maps showing the distribution of elements in an unstained plant cell

Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectrometry​

Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectrosmetry (EDS) is opening new dimensions for biological electron microscopy, adding compositional information (colour EM) to greyscale ultrastructural images in SEM and TEM. The additional elemental information can be used for a variety of applications including, but not restricted to, measuring the quantity and localising endogenous biological elements, imaging ultrastructure without any stain in resin-embedded and cryo-specimens, investigating the location and distribution of nanoparticles in cells and tissues, determining ion gradients across specified areas, investigating the composition of pollutants or contamination of biological material and the identification of a diverse range of stains and immunolabels. For more detail on specific applications, please click on the links below. 

EDS maps showing the composition of particles of air pollution collected on the surface of a leaf.  ​
EDS maps showing the composition of particles of air pollution collected on the surface of a leaf.  ​

Our EDS systems provide the flexibility and accuracy required for biological analysis, including: 

  • Low kV analysis for high resolution data (<2kV)
  • Detection of light elements in biological samples (incl. nitrogen) using windowless detectors
  • Sensitivity for low dose conditions and cryo-EM
  • Fast and accurate compositional analysis with large area detectors
  • Easy to interpret analytical data with automatic identification of elements

Application Examples


Gallery: EDS as an imaging detector

Imaging the chemical constituents of biological tissue adds an extra spectral dimension to your analysis.
Ultrastructural information combined with compositional data.

View all Bio Imaging & Life Science Applications across Oxford Instruments

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