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St. Luke’s Medical Center opened its ELECTRON MICROSCOPY FACILITY in July of 1996. Envisioned to open new horizons in medical diagnosis and research in the country, it is a joint facility of the Institute of Pathology and the Research and Biotechnology Division. It offers diagnostic services for clinicians as well as technical services for researchers from academic institutions and industries all over the country.
Located at the Ground Floor of the old Nurses’s Home, the EM Facility is equipped with a JEOL transmission electron microscope (TEM) JEM-1010, which incorporates the latest features and functions of the most advanced and modern 100kV electron microscopes. The facility is a fully-equipped laboratory and includes the EM room, two ultra-microtome rooms, a processing area, a darkroom, a supply room, a reception area, and an office.
Analysis of renal biopsies in various diseases make up the bulk (85%) of TEM applications for diagnosis. Other applications include analysis of neoplasms, metabolic storage diseases, identification of infectious agents, autoimmune diseases, certain cutaneous diseases and identification of foreign materials in tissues. Its applications in biomedical research include viral studies, evaluation of the effects of drugs and chemicals, elucidation of pathogenic mechanisms, and the ultrastructural characterization of disease elements.
While the light microscope enables the physician to see an object as small as 1/8000 of an inch, with the electron microscope, particles as small as one in two millionth of an inch can be viewed. This greater resolution allows the physician to view the organelles of individual cells, giving greater understanding of a disease and greater accuracy in determining the kind of tumor, disease, cancer or cell type. Special EM techniques also make possible the detection of specific molecules and markers.