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3-Dimensional Electron Microscopy of Biological Specimens

Strunk, Korrinn M. (2012) 3-Dimensional Electron Microscopy of Biological Specimens. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Three-dimensional (3D) imaging is an important tool in electron microscopy, especially in biological specimens where the main focus is the structure of the cells. Many times important information is lost because the exact orientation of a specimen is unknown. We tested two different 3D imaging techniques, focused ion beam (FIB) slice and view, and cryo-FIB thinning of samples for use in cryo transmission electron tomography (cryo-TEM) and cryo-electron tomography (cryo-ET).

We began our research with room temperature FIB slice and view, with an intention to move onto slice and view at cryogenic temperatures. We found this technique to be difficult to control and the time required to produce results was simply too high. We moved on to investigating cryo-FIB milling as a tool for thinning cryo-ET specimens. Advances in cryo-ET have enabled high-resolution 3D imaging of complex assemblies and determination of cellular architectures in their close-to-native states. However, one major limitation, the accessible specimen thickness, has hindered its broader application in cellular biology. Recent efforts have been made to create thin, frozen-hydrated sections using cryo-ultramicrotomy, but with many mechanical artifacts and low yields. Here, we report a method that applies a focused ion beam (FIB) at cryogenic temperature (cryo-FIB) to reduce the thickness of frozen-hydrated cells, including mammalian cells, to a degree suitable for cryo-ET.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Strunk, Korrinn M.kms196@pitt.eduKMS196
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Thesis AdvisorGray, Jennifer L.jlg99@pitt.eduJLG99
Committee ChairBarnard, John A.jbarnard@pitt.eduJBARNARD
Committee ChairWiezorek, Jorg M. K.wiezorek@pitt.eduWIEZOREK
Date: 4 June 2012
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 23 March 2012
Approval Date: 4 June 2012
Submission Date: 2 April 2012
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 76
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Swanson School of Engineering > Materials Science and Engineering
Degree: MSMSE - Master of Science in Materials Science and Engineering
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Cryo-FIB, Cryo-TEM, tomography, E. Coli, HeLa
Date Deposited: 04 Jun 2012 17:58
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:57


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