In order to cor­re­late struc­ture with func­tion in a mov­ing cell it is essen­tial to know the state of move­ment at the time of fix­a­tion. This can be achieved by per­form­ing live cell imag­ing and elec­tron microscopy on the same cell (Auinger and Small, 2008).

Briefly, cells are grown on a thin plas­tic film cast on a glass cov­er­slip. The cells can be imaged live in the flu­o­res­cence micro­scope and fixed directly on the micro­scope stage dur­ing a video sequence. There­after, the plas­tic film is peeled off the cov­er­slip, trans­ferred to an EM grid and neg­a­tively stained for elec­tron microscopy. Re-location of the cell observed in the light micro­scope in the EM is facil­i­tated by emboss­ing an indexed grid pat­tern in gold onto the plas­tic film.

Related Pub­li­ca­tions

  • Auinger S., Small, J.V. (2008). Cor­re­lated light and elec­tron microscopy of the cytoskele­ton. Meth­ods Cell Biol. 257272. PDF