Preparation of biological monolayers for producing high-resolution scanning electron micrographs Code: PLOS2021 [PONE-D-21-26669] - [EMID:f8569bc7b537f6e4] v1

Franscious CummingsDavid Fisher

Abstract

Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) provides a technical platform for nanoscopic mapping of biological structures. Correct preparation of SEM samples can provide an unprecedented understanding of the nexus between cellular morphology and topography. This comparative study critically examines two coating methods for preparing biological samples for scanning electron microscopy, while also providing novel advice on how to prepare in vitro epithelial or endothelial samples for high-resolution scanning-electron microscopy (HR-SEM). Two obstacles often confront the biologist when investigating cellular structures grown under tissue culture conditions, viz., how to prepare and present the biological samples to the HR-SEM microscope without affecting topographical membrane and cellular structural alterations. Firstly, our use of the Millicell cellulose inserts on which to grow our cellular samples in preparation for HR-SEM is both novel and advantageous to comparing the permeability function of cells to their morphological function. Secondly, biological material is often non-conducting, thermally sensitive and fragile and, therefore, needs to be fixed correctly and coated with thin conducting metal to ensure high-resolution detail of s...Continue Reading

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