Array tomography: semiautomated image alignment
ABSTRACT Array tomography is a volumetric microscopy method based on physical serial sectioning. Ultrathin sections of a plastic-embedded tissue are cut using an ultramicrotome, bonded in an ordered array to a glass coverslip, stained as desired, and imaged. The resulting two-dimensional image tiles can then be reconstructed computationally into three-dimensional volume images for visualization and quantitative analysis. The minimal thickness of individual sections permits high-quality rapid staining and imaging, whereas the array format allows reliable and convenient section handling, staining, and automated imaging. Also, the physical stability of the arrays permits images to be acquired and registered from repeated cycles of staining, imaging, and stain elution, as well as from imaging using multiple modalities (e.g., fluorescence and electron microscopy). Array tomography makes it possible to visualize and quantify previously inaccessible features of tissue structure and molecular architecture. However, careful preparation of the tissue is essential for successful array tomography; these steps can be time-consuming and require some practice to perfect. Successful array tomography requires that the captured images be properly stacked and aligned, and the software to achieve these ends is freely available. This protocol describes the construction of volumetric image stacks from images of fluorescently labeled arrays for three-dimensional image visualization, analysis, and archiving.
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ABSTRACT: Three-dimensional fluorescence imaging of thick tissue samples with near-molecular resolution remains a fundamental challenge in the life sciences. To tackle this, we developed tomoSTORM, an approach combining single-molecule localization-based super-resolution microscopy with array tomography of structurally intact brain tissue. Consecutive sections organized in a ribbon were serially imaged with a lateral resolution of 28 nm and an axial resolution of 40 nm in tissue volumes of up to 50 µm×50 µm×2.5 µm. Using targeted expression of membrane bound (m)GFP and immunohistochemistry at the calyx of Held, a model synapse for central glutamatergic neurotransmission, we delineated the course of the membrane and fine-structure of mitochondria. This method allows multiplexed super-resolution imaging in large tissue volumes with a resolution three orders of magnitude better than confocal microscopy.PLoS ONE 05/2012; 7(5):e38098. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0038098 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: A key obstacle in uncovering the orchestration between molecular and cellular events is the vastly different length scales on which they occur. We describe here a methodology for ultrastructurally mapping regions of cells and tissue as large as 1 mm(2) at nanometer resolution. Our approach employs standard transmission electron microscopy, rapid automated data collection, and stitching to create large virtual slides. It greatly facilitates correlative light-electron microscopy studies to relate structure and function and provides a genuine representation of ultrastructural events. The method is scalable as illustrated by slides up to 281 gigapixels in size. Here, we applied virtual nanoscopy in a correlative light-electron microscopy study to address the role of the endothelial glycocalyx in protein leakage over the glomerular filtration barrier, in an immunogold labeling study of internalization of oncolytic reovirus in human dendritic cells, in a cryo-electron microscopy study of intact vitrified mouse embryonic cells, and in an ultrastructural mapping of a complete zebrafish embryo slice.The Journal of Cell Biology 08/2012; 198(3):457-69. DOI:10.1083/jcb.201201140 · 9.69 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The neuroscience research landscape has changed dramatically over the past decade. Specifically, an impressive array of new tools and technologies have been generated, including but not limited to: brain gene expression atlases, genetically encoded proteins to monitor and manipulate neuronal activity, and new methods for imaging and mapping circuits. However, despite these technological advances, several significant challenges must be overcome to enable a better understanding of brain function and to develop cell type-targeted therapeutics to treat brain disorders. This review provides an overview of some of the tools and technologies currently being used to advance the field of molecular neuroanatomy, and also discusses emerging technologies that may enable neuroscientists to address these crucial scientific challenges over the coming decade.Trends in Neurosciences 12/2013; 37(2). DOI:10.1016/j.tins.2013.11.001 · 12.90 Impact Factor