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J Ultrastruct Res. 1984 Oct;89(1):65-78.

On the preparation of cryosections for immunocytochemistry.


The key preparation steps in the Tokuyasu thawed frozen section technique for immunocytochemistry, namely freezing, sectioning, thawing, and drying, were studied. A spherical tissue culture cell was used as a model system. The frozen hydrated section technique indicated that glutaraldehyde-fixed, 2.1 M sucrose-infused pellets of cells were routinely vitrified by immersion in liquid nitrogen but water was crystallized when lower sucrose concentrations (0.6-1 M) were used. Quantitative mass measurements showed that the fixed cells are freely permeable to sucrose. The frozen hydrated sections were severely compressed but cell profiles regained their circular appearance upon thawing. The average section thickness of our frozen-hydrated sections was 110 nm: this was reduced to 30-50 nm upon thawing, washing, and air-drying. This change was accompanied by severe drying artifacts. By using the methyl cellulose drying technique, this collapse upon air-drying could be significantly reduced, but not completely prevented, giving an average thickness of 70 nm.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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