Imaging systems in the SRNML provide the opportunity to examine the internal and external organization of biological and physical sciences specimens from the macroscopic to the supramolecular level. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) provides external information about surfaces of specimens. At low magnifications, SEM provides excellent clarity. Because of its high depth of focus, objects up to 1 cm are in focus, unlike light microscopy. OU's high resolution SEM is one of less than 20 in the country. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) provides the highest available resolution available in the Lab for internal details of cellular structure in biological specimens and phase boundaries in metals, ceramics and geological specimens at a sub-micron scale. Capabilities include:
Images can be collected for routine photography using a variety of formats or using digital computer processing with either scanning modes or through an image intensifier. Pseudocolor coding and image processing of such objects is available on an attached computer system.
Images obtained through video or directly from the SEM or TEM may be analyzed using a DEC 11/78 system with Kevex feature analysis/image processing software. This software provides for analysis of 23 fundamental parameters, 27 derived parameters and up to 20 user-defined parameters. Facilities exist for dilation, erosion, high and low pass filtering to obtain feature images. Pseudocolor featuring 16 colors with 64 shades are available. Image processing includes 15 - 3 x 3 kernal operators (3 user-defined) and over 15 transformation functions. Output devices include an inkjet printer, dot-matrix printer and high resolution redisplay on a CRT. Color transparencies may be taken from the display monitor.
Computer-assisted three-dimensional reconstruction from serial sections can be conducted in collaboration with the research lab of Dr. Scott Russell. Cells are traced using a digitizing tablet, encoded for thickness and position and then viewed from any perspective. Complementary quantitative data is available on the parameters entered.