Líffræðifélag Íslands - biologia.is
Líffræðiráðstefnan 2019

Erindi/veggspjald / Talk/poster E9

Imaging biological samples by Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM)

Höfundar / Authors: Kesara Anamthawat-Jonsson

Starfsvettvangur / Affiliations: Institute of Life and Environmental Sciences, School of Engineering and Natural Sciences, University of Iceland, Askja – Sturlugata 7, 101 Reykjavík

Kynnir / Presenter: Kesara Anamthawat-Jonsson

A scanning electron microscope (SEM) is a type of electron microscope that produces images of a sample by scanning the surface with a focused beam of electrons. Since its arrival in 2011, the new generation SEM model JEOL-JSM-6610, housed in Askja the Natural Science Building, has been used for imaging various types of biological samples, producing publishable results. This SEM offers an alternative low-vacuum/high-voltage mode, which allows observation of uncoated and non-conductive (biological) specimens. It is equipped with an additional back-scattered electron detector, which adds topographical resolution. Because there is no need to coat the sample to make it conductive, our young researchers and students can afford to use it. In this presentation I will show examples of SEM projects conducted so far, from imaging eggshells and sheep wool in archaeological projects, differentiating pollen species, seeds and spores in botanical projects, to investigating diatom diversity in Lake Thingvallavatn. The microscope can also be used for imaging softer specimens, but they must be fixed and dehydrated correctly prior to the examination in SEM, e.g. using Critical Point Drier. SEM is an important tool in scientific research and diagnostic applications.