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Agar Scientific announces the availability of SMART Grids from Dune Sciences Inc.

Schematic to illustrate functionality of a Dune BioGrid™ capturing specific viruses Agar Scientific, a leading supplier of microscopy accessories and consumables, announce .their appointment by Dune Sciences for the supply of SMART GridsTM to simplify nano- and bioanalysis sample preparation.

SMART Grids set new standards for accurate, reproducible, and simple sample preparation for TEM, SEM and AFM. Applying surface chemistry, SMART Grids characterisation substrates capture both biological and nanomaterials through attraction or self-assembly enabling unprecedented opportunities for integrative analysis and processing. SMART Grids are tools for enhanced analytical characterisation and the development of new nanoscale materials.

For the first time, this cross-disciplinary tool integrates the combined capabilities of electron microscopy and surface science with electronic and optical interrogation in a single sample to provide comprehensive understanding of structural, chemical and functional characteristics at the nanoscale.

SMART Grids are now available with either SiO2 or new 5nm Si3N4 membranes for reproducible and accurate imaging and metrology. These ultrathin membranes are electron transparent and can be hydrophilic, hydrophobic or charged to provide application-specific substrates.

Unlike other membrane TEM grids, these grids are not simply a passive support for structural characterisation, but can serve as an active component of research through manipulation of surface-driven interactions and by enabling multi-technique analysis (e.g. all electron microscopies and surface analytical methods) on the same sample.

The most popular of the SMART Grid product line for nanomaterials characterisation are the NanoGridsTM. These are available with a range of active surfaces to enable uniform dispersion and accurate characterisation of many different types of materials by liquid or vapour phase deposition. NanoPlus GridsTM are hydrophilic and have membrane windows with positive surface charge. Particles with negative partial surface charge "stick" to the grid surface through electrostatic interaction by simply immersing in a drop of solution and then rinsing.

For life science applications, there are BioGridsTM: functionalised SMART Grids that promote affinity for proteins, viruses, or other biomolecules through both non-specific bonding and analyte-specific bonding. These are suitable for use with both stained samples and cryoEM.

Dune Sciences and Agar Scientific share a reputation of supplying quality products and service in the microscopy market-place with a commitment to offering leading-edge products to their customers.

For more details of these and other products, please contact Agar direct. Agar supplies one of the broadest ranges of accessories and consumables for microscopy. The complete range is available in either electronic or printed-catalogue form. To receive your copy of the latest catalogue, Issue #8, please visit the Agar Website ( and register today.

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