About the Practical Course
Recent developments in scanning electron microscopes (SEM) have led to ground-breaking opportunities in volume imaging of cells and tissues. The aim of this EMBO Practical Course is to provide extensive theoretical and practical knowledge on the 3 main techniques for automated serial imaging based on SEM (ASI-SEM): microtome-based serial block-face SEM, focused ion beam SEM and array tomography. At the issue of the course, the participants will be able to assess the potentials of each technique and which fit best to their own scientific project. The participants will acquire the theoretical background to understand the different techniques as well as to optimize the imaging conditions. Data processing, analysis and management will be covered extensively, as they are inherent key considerations to all ASI-SEM techniques. An important fraction of the course will be devoted to hands-on experimentation on i) sample preparation adapted to each ASI-SEM technique ii) operation of the hardware (SEMs, automated microtomes) and iii) image processing software (stack registration, segmentation, tracing).