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High Resolution Array Tomography with Automated Serial Sectioning

Faster 3D Imaging of Cellular and Protein Structures

The optimization of high resolution, 3-dimensional (3D), sub-cellular structure analysis with array tomography using an automated serial sectioning solution, achieving a high section density on the carrier substrate, is described in this report.

Array tomography (AT) is a 3D image reconstruction technique for biological specimens. It involves the imaging of ordered arrays of ultrathin serial sections with scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and enables high resolution, quantitative analysis of biological structures. AT offers higher spatial resolution than conventional confocal microscopy. The method can reveal additional information of cellular and protein structures to clarify poorly understood or unresolved features.

The workflow for array tomography is better optimized when using an automated ultramicrotome that can achieve uniform, ultrathin serial sections for orderly array image acquisition with the SEM. An example is the ARTOS 3D solution from Leica Microsystems. It preserves a high section quality by eliminating artifacts that may occur during the section ribbon collection process from manual handling typically done with conventional ultramicrotomes.

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