With explosively rapid technological advances in the fields of electronics and solid-state physics has emerged a new generation of biomedical instrumentation. In the forefront of these advances is the science and application of scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Despite its relatively recent emergence as a tool for both physical and biological investigations (Thornton,1 1968; Carr,2 1971; and Scott et al,3 1974), conceptually the ideatum behind its evolution as an instrument of practical application can be traced back to the pioneering efforts of Oatly et al4 in Cambridge in 1965.
Unlike optical or transmission electron microscopy (TEM), SEM is restricted to the evaluation of surface structures. However, the sample size available for such analysis exceeds that for TEM by an order of magnitude of greater than 500:1. Furthermore, SEM easily interfaces with TEM and other sophisticated techniques, such as nondispersive x-ray analysis, allowing the investigator a considerably broader
Scott DE, Paull WK, Kozlowski GP. Scanning Electron Microscopy: Applications and Implications in Developmental Neurobiology. Am J Dis Child. 1976;130(5):555–561. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1976.02120060101019
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