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J Microsc. 1982 Feb;125(Pt 2):149-56.

Cryopreparation of mammalian tissue for X-ray microanalysis in STEM.


A cryopreparation technique for studies of ultrastructure and distribution of diffusible elements in biological tissue is described. Electron microscopical contrast and characteristic X-ray spectra are found to be poor in completely frozen-hydrated ultrathin cryosections of fresh chemically untreated tissue. Both STEM contrast and detection of characteristic X-rays are enhanced by careful freeze-drying in the microscope. Although the ultrastructure is affected by ice crystals, intracellular compartments can be identified by STEM without staining and studied by X-ray microanalysis.

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