Cryo-electron microscopy services for invaluable insight into surface and internal micro and nanostructures supporting formulated chemical product innovation
Cryo-electron microscopy is a means of preserving and studying the micro and nano-structure of liquid and their interaction with the substrate, including emulsion, dispersion and gel-based aqueous chemical products and biological samples or at low temperatures (cryropreservation) in order to gain structural information via image analysis.
Understanding the micro and nano-structures of your product is vital to product innovation and market launch however conventional electron microscopy is not appropriate for some sample types. Cryo-electron microscopy can be used to study “wet” or aqueous based samples where micro and nano-sized systems are incorporated into coatings, cosmetics, agrichemicals, and pharmaceuticals and other products to provide a functional role in active delivery, optical effects and targeted or controlled release over time. It can also be key to understanding biological tissue. Cryopreservation is required to prepare the samples. However in some cases conventional freezing methods can disrupt the inherent micro, nano- or biological structure due to the formation of ice crystals and so alternative methods must be deployed.
By applying cryo-electron microscopy, preceded by cryopreservation, such as high pressure freezing (HPF), our scientists are able to preserve the inherent nano-structure without ice crystal structure formation. The combination of this with subsequent processes where sublimation of the sample is enforced acts to expose the microstructure for Pt /Pd coating and allows direct observation of the preserved structure by cryo-electron microscopy no matter how complex the samples may be. In essence, the process will transform liquid samples into a solid, and therefore subject to the same analysis as a solid sample.
Intertek’s HPF progressive techniques are crucially ‘portable’ if required, allowing on-site testing.
Our microscopy experts have worked across a wide range of industries, applying cryo-electron microscopy to progress our clients’ product development programs or support marketing claims for formulating structured chemical products. Coupled with expert analytical services at both R&D level, or to GLP/cGMP if required, our teams can provide specialist expertise for the chemicals, materials, pharmaceutical and beauty product industries.
Through our suite of low temperature microscopy methods our scientists are apply to apply a broad range of imaging and analytical techniques to complex samples and thus provide you with invaluable insight, which is crucial in an era of ongoing product innovation.
Need help or have a question?