Considerations for imaging thick, low contrast, and beam sensitive samples with liquid cell transmission electron microscopy

Trevor H. Moser, Tolou Shokuhfar, James E. Evans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Transmission electron microscopy of whole cells is hindered by the inherently large thickness and low atomic contrast intrinsic of cellular material. Liquid cell transmission electron microscopy allows samples to remain in their native hydrated state and may permit visualizing cellular dynamics in-situ. However, imaging biological cells with this approach remains challenging and identifying an optimal imaging regime using empirical data would help foster new advancements in the field. Recent questions about the role of the electron beam inducing morphological changes or damaging cellular structure and function necessitates further investigation of electron beam-cell interactions, but such comparisons are complicated by variability in imaging techniques used across various studies currently present in literature. The necessity for using low electron fluxes while imaging biological samples requires finding an imaging strategy which produces the strongest contrast and signal to noise ratio for the electron flux used. Here, we experimentally measure and evaluate signal to noise ratios and damage mechanisms between liquid and cryogenic samples of intact cells using multiple electron imaging modalities all on the same instrument and with equivalent beam parameters to standardize the comparison. We also discuss considerations for optimal electron microscopy imaging conditions for future studies on whole cells within liquid environments.

LanguageEnglish (US)
Pages8-15
Number of pages8
JournalMicron
Volume117
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2019

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Energy-Filtering Transmission Electron Microscopy
Cytology
Radiation damage
Signal-To-Noise Ratio
High resolution transmission electron microscopy
Transmission Electron Microscopy
Cell Biology
Electron beams
Signal to noise ratio
Cells
Electrons
Transmission electron microscopy
Imaging techniques
Liquids
Cellular Structures
Fluxes
Cell Communication
Electron Microscopy
Beam plasma interactions
Cryogenics

Keywords

  • Biological LC-TEM
  • Energy filtered TEM
  • LC-TEM
  • Low convergence angle STEM
  • Radiation damage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Structural Biology
  • Cell Biology

Cite this

Considerations for imaging thick, low contrast, and beam sensitive samples with liquid cell transmission electron microscopy. / Moser, Trevor H.; Shokuhfar, Tolou; Evans, James E.

In: Micron, Vol. 117, 01.02.2019, p. 8-15.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Moser, Trevor H. ; Shokuhfar, Tolou ; Evans, James E. / Considerations for imaging thick, low contrast, and beam sensitive samples with liquid cell transmission electron microscopy. In: Micron. 2019 ; Vol. 117. pp. 8-15.
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