Faster Array Tomography

How does the ARTOS 3D ultramicrotome allow you to save time when making high quality sections for array tomography?

Array tomography (AT) is a 3D image reconstruction technique for high resolution, quantitative analysis of biological structures. For optimal results, ultrathin, ordered sections are a pre-requisite.

Until now, AT has involved several time-consuming and cumbersome manual steps. The ARTOS 3D solution speeds up the process by automating specimen sectioning and minimizing the time required to align the sections for SEM imaging.

Read on to find out how the ARTOS 3D helps you speed up the workflow while also achieving high quality results.

Typical Workflow for Array Tomography
Spend less time preparing sections with the automated serial sectioning of the ARTOS 3D. The custom-designed diamond knife enables a seamless transition from one wrinkle-free ribbon to the next with no thickness variation.

Fast Sectioning & Easy Alignment for Imaging ARTOS 3D vs. Conventional Ultramicrotome

Less Work for You with the ARTOS 3D Workflow

To obtain excellent results with array tomography in a timely manner, it is crucial to create ultrathin, consistent, and correctly ordered ribbons efficiently. To achieve this advantage, the ARTOS 3D ultramicrotome automates the process of making high quality, ultrathin (>20 nm) sections. The automation eliminates several of the manual work steps required by more conventional ultramicrotomes, such as the EM UC7 also from Leica Microsystems. This automation leads to a large time-savings for serial sectioning and ribbon alignment before SEM imaging.

The manual work steps required with conventional ultramicrotomes are minimized or eliminated by the ARTOS 3D system. There is:

  • No manually aligning nor positioning of the ribbon sections with an eyelash
  • No manual handling of the ribbons multiple times for repeat sectioning which increases greatly the risk of wrinkling
  • No need to perform over and over the same tedious manual process to get wrinkle-free ribbons on the section carrier 

Save Time Making High Quality Sections with a Seamless Workflow

Fast section preparation with much less effort

With the ARTOS 3D ultramicrotome, you have a seamless workflow through the whole preparation process by eliminating manual work steps:

  • Fast setup with programs pre-defined by the user for different section carriers
  • Automated creation and collection of hundreds of serial sections with minimal user intervention
  • No more time-consuming and fiddly manual collection involving sorting and positioning of ribbons to attain proper alignment for SEM imaging
Fast setup for serial sectioning is possible with the ARTOS 3D using user-pre-defined programs. A smooth transfer from sectioning to imaging is achieved with a small section carrier used throughout the entire workflow.
Avoid ribbon wrinkling by simply adjusting the ARTOS 3D front valve to control the water flow rate. More consistent section thickness is also attained with the ARTOS 3D draft shield and active damping system.

Reproducible, Artifact-Free Sections

Consistently high quality sections

The ARTOS 3D ultramicrotome is able to deliver reproducible, high quality sections rapidly by:

  • Avoiding the artifact-causing conditions of manual sectioning and manipulation due to integrated direct section-ribbon collection
  • Collecting ultrathin section ribbons without wrinkling by easily adjusting the water flow with the front valve
  • Minimizing variation in section thickness by eliminating air turbulence and vibration thanks to a specially-designed draft shield and active damping plate
  • Sectioning ribbons precisely with the custom-designed 4 mm diamond knife, adaptable to different section carriers

Application: 3D Image Reconstruction of Lymph Nodes

Precise section preparation with the ARTOS 3D enables optimal results with array tomography

In this application, mouse popliteal lymph nodes have been reconstructed with array tomography using serial sections produced by the ARTOS 3D solution. Array tomography enables precise examination of the cellular and protein structures of the lymph nodes, which is critical for various types of immune and cancer studies.

Learn more about how the ARTOS 3D helped optimize this array tomography application in the following report.

Download the Application Note

In addition, the consistent, reproducible sections of the ARTOS 3D ultramicrotome are also ideal for CLEM applications.

Video showing the serial sectioning of mouse lymph nodes with the the ARTOS 3D and the generation of 3D images using array tomography. 3D images courtesy: Frank Assen, Ludek Lovicar, Vanessa Zheden, and Michael Sixt, IST Austria, Klosterneuburg.

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