Journal Article
. 2018 Jul; 8(1):10763.
doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-28912-x.

Subcellular Imaging of Liquid Silicone Coated-Intestinal Epithelial Cells

Peter Nirmalraj 1 Roman Lehner 2 Damien Thompson 3 Barbara Rothen-Rutishauser 2 Michael Mayer 2 
  • PMID: 30018393
  •     23 References
  •     2 citations


Surface contamination and the formation of water bridge at the nanoscopic contact between an atomic force microscope tip and cell surface limits the maximum achievable spatial resolution on cells under ambient conditions. Structural information from fixed intestinal epithelial cell membrane is enhanced by fabricating a silicone liquid membrane that prevents ambient contaminants and accumulation of water at the interface between the cell membrane and the tip of an atomic force microscope. The clean and stable experimental platform permits the visualisation of the structure and orientation of microvilli present at the apical cell membrane under standard laboratory conditions together with registering subcellular details within a microvillus. The method developed here can be implemented for preserving and imaging contaminant-free morphology of fixed cells which is central for both fundamental studies in cell biology and in the emerging field of digital pathology.

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