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J Microsc. 2009 Sep;235(3):293-307. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2818.2009.03219.x.

Molecular cryo-electron tomography of vitreous tissue sections: current challenges.

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Department of Cell and Molecular Biology (CMB), Medical Nobel Institute, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.


Electron tomography of vitreous tissue sections (tissue TOVIS) allows the study of the three-dimensional structure of molecular complexes in a near-native cellular context. Its usage is, however, limited by an unfortunate combination of noisy and incomplete data, by a technically demanding sample preparation procedure, and by a disposition for specimen degradation during data collection. Here we outline some major challenges as experienced from the application of TOVIS to human skin. We further consider a number of practical measures as well as theoretical approaches for its future development.

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