US-based Thermo Fisher Scientific has launched a new connected and automated microscope, Thermo Scientific Arctis Cryo-Plasma Focused Ion Beam (Cryo-PFIB).

The new Cryo-PFIB microscope is intended to advance the pace of cryo-electron tomography (cryo-ET) research.

Cryo-ET has potential for cell biology research, including the study of infectious disease, neurodegenerative disease, and other structural biology applications, said Thermo Fisher.

It also enables the study of how proteins and other molecules interact in a cellular context at resolutions unmatched by other microscopy techniques.

According to the firm, the Arctis Cryo-PFIB increases throughput compared to other commercially available solutions for quick, repeatable production of samples for cryo-ET.

The system is built to deliver consistent, high-quality samples with minimal sample contamination hazards along with integrated correlative light and electron microscopy (CLEM) for quick targeting of the area of biological interest.

Users will benefit from increased networking capabilities, integrated correlative microscopy, dedicated Plasma FIB technology, advanced automation, and improved sample loading and transfer.

The system’s plasma FIB technology can help in the removal of large sample volumes and quick access to areas of biological interest.

With advanced automation capabilities, it can deliver reproducible results and higher throughput compared to current gallium-based cryo-FIB solutions.

It has better workflow connectivity to make it easier to transport samples to Thermo Scientific’s Krios or Glacios Cryo-TEMs.

The company’s Autoloader is included with the Arctis Cryo-PFIB that can robotically fill cassettes with up to 12 grids. The lamella will be aligned to the TEM tilt axis using new, specialised TomoGrids.

Thermo Fisher life sciences vice president and general manager Trisha Rice said: “Our goal is to provide an end-to-end cryo-ET workflow for new and experienced users.

“By expanding our automation capabilities to our cryo-PFIB portfolio, we can pave the way for cryo-ET to become a frontier technique for cell biology.”