Extremely thin layer plastification for focused-ion beam scanning electron microscopy: an improved method to study cell surfaces and organelles of cultured cells

E G VAN Donselaar, B Dorresteijn, D Popov-Čeleketić, W J VAN DE Wetering, T C Verrips, T Boekhout, C T W M Schneijdenberg, A T Xenaki, T P VAN DER Krift, W H Müller

Onderzoeksoutput: Bijdrage aan wetenschappelijk tijdschrift/periodieke uitgaveArtikelWetenschappelijkpeer review


Since the recent boost in the usage of electron microscopy in life-science research, there is a great need for new methods. Recently minimal resin embedding methods have been successfully introduced in the sample preparation for focused-ion beam scanning electron microscopy (FIB-SEM). In these methods several possibilities are given to remove as much resin as possible from the surface of cultured cells or multicellular organisms. Here we introduce an alternative way in the minimal resin embedding method to remove excess of resin from two widely different cell types by the use of Mascotte filter paper. Our goal in correlative light and electron microscopic studies of immunogold-labelled breast cancer SKBR3 cells was to visualise gold-labelled HER2 plasma membrane proteins as well as the intracellular structures of flat and round cells. We found a significant difference (p < 0.001) in the number of gold particles of selected cells per 0.6 μm2 cell surface: on average a flat cell contained 2.46 ± 1.98 gold particles, and a round cell 5.66 ± 2.92 gold particles. Moreover, there was a clear difference in the subcellular organisation of these two cells. The round SKBR3 cell contained many organelles, such as mitochondria, Golgi and endoplasmic reticulum, when compared with flat SKBR3 cells. Our next goal was to visualise crosswall associated organelles, septal pore caps, of Rhizoctonia solani fungal cells by the combined use of a heavy metal staining and our extremely thin layer plastification (ETLP) method. At low magnifications this resulted into easily finding septa which appeared as bright crosswalls in the back-scattered electron mode in the scanning electron microscope. Then, a septum was selected for FIB-SEM. Cross-sectioned views clearly revealed the perforate septal pore cap of R. solani next to other structures, such as mitochondria, endoplasmic reticulum, lipid bodies, dolipore septum, and the pore channel. As the ETLP method was applied on two widely different cell types, the use of the ETLP method will be beneficial to correlative studies of other cell model systems and multicellular organisms.

Originele taal-2Engels
Pagina's (van-tot)359-373
Aantal pagina's15
TijdschriftJournal of Microscopy
Nummer van het tijdschrift3
StatusGepubliceerd - jun 2018

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