Electron Microscopy has become a boon for biological sciences and industry as it gives immense magnification and resolution which has opened new areas and scope of research in cellular and molecular biology.
They are used in study of microorganisms like bacteria, virus and other pathogens (for diagnosis and treatment of disease), as well as fields of medicine (tumor identification, biopsy), human anatomy (study of cells), pathology, forensic science, nanotechnology (variety of molecules and nano particles) etc. Microbiology has been greatly developed and modernized after development of electron microscope.
It is also used in various industries for high resolution, 2D and 3D imaging, mining as well as chemical and petrochemical industries.
There are various advantages of electron microscopy over light microscopy as limitations in light microscopy gives rise to it.
- EM has a high magnification and resolving power.
- Study of submicroscopic cell organelles (e.g. ribosomes, micro-bodies, centrioles, microtubules, endoplasmic reticulum) and internal structure of microscopic organelles (e.g. chioroplasts, mitochondria).
- Study of microorganisms, viruses and virions.
- It can discern even macromolecules.
- Helps to know the arrangement of molecular aggregates and even their components, e.g. nucleosomes.
There are few drawbacks of using electron microscopy which are:
- Complicated and Expensive.
- Risk of radiation leak.
- Require very high voltage electric current.
- Need of cooling system.
- The specimen or object has to be given special treatment E.g. complete dehydration.
- Rigorous sample preparation.
- Living stage of microorganisms cannot be observed.