Electron microscopy of whole cells in liquid with nanometer resolution.

de Jonge N, Peckys DB, Kremers GJ, Piston DW
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009 106 (7): 2159-64

PMID: 19164524 · PMCID: PMC2650183 · DOI:10.1073/pnas.0809567106

Single gold-tagged epidermal growth factor (EGF) molecules bound to cellular EGF receptors of fixed fibroblast cells were imaged in liquid with a scanning transmission electron microscope (STEM). The cells were placed in buffer solution in a microfluidic device with electron transparent windows inside the vacuum of the electron microscope. A spatial resolution of 4 nm and a pixel dwell time of 20 micros were obtained. The liquid layer was sufficiently thick to contain the cells with a thickness of 7 +/- 1 microm. The experimental findings are consistent with a theoretical calculation. Liquid STEM is a unique approach for imaging single molecules in whole cells with significantly improved resolution and imaging speed over existing methods.

MeSH Terms (15)

Animals Buffers Cercopithecus aethiops COS Cells Epidermal Growth Factor Equipment Design ErbB Receptors Fibroblasts Gold Image Processing, Computer-Assisted Metal Nanoparticles Microscopy, Electron Nanotechnology Protein Binding Silicon

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