Article

Array Tomography: Semiautomated Image Alignment

Cold Spring Harbor Protocols (Impact Factor: 4.63). 11/2010; 2010(11):pdb.prot5527. DOI: 10.1101/pdb.prot5527
Source: PubMed

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: 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. This protocol describes the sectioning of embedded tissues and the mounting of the serial arrays. The procedures require some familiarity with the techniques used for ultramicrotome sectioning for electron microscopy.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2010 · Cold Spring Harbor Protocols
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Array tomography, which is described in this article, 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). Although the fabrication procedures can be relatively difficult, the high resolution, depth invariance, and molecular discrimination offered by array tomography justify the effort involved. Array tomography makes it possible to visualize and quantify previously inaccessible features of tissue structure and molecular architecture.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2010 · Cold Spring Harbor Protocols
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