The Electron Microscope Unit opened the newly acquired cryo-FEGTEM, Tecnai F20 instrument recently, creating new opportunities for scientists to study "soft" materials.
The instrument, the first of its kind in South Africa, will be used to study biological macromolecules, viruses, polymers and micelles.
Associate Professor Trevor Sewell, director of the unit, said: "Scientists in the Western Cape now have ready access to microscopes that are comparable with the best in the world, and are in an unprecedented position, especially if the new instrument is considered together with the similar microscope aimed at the study of 'hard' materials, recently opened at the University of the Western Cape."
The opening on May 23 was attended by, among others, the previous owner of the instrument, Dr Richard Henderson of the Medical Research Council's Laboratory for Molecular Biology (LMB) in Cambridge, England, Dr Romilla Maharaj the executive director of the Institutional Capacity Development at the National Research Foundation, Dr Felix de Haasm, an applications specialist from the manufacturer, FEI, and representatives of the South African agent, Apollo scientific, Dr Alistair Douglas and Andries Gie.
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