Cryo-electron microscopy of vitreous sections of native biological cells and tissues

Al-Amoudi, A.; Norlén, L.; Dubochet, J.


Cryo-electron microscopy of vitreous sections (CEMOVIS) is, in principle, the ultimate method of specimen preparation. It consists in ultra-rapid cooling of a sizable sample of biological material that is cut into thin sections. These are subsequently observed at low temperature in their fully hydrated vitreous state. Here, we show that CEMOVIS reveals the native state of cells and tissues with unprecedented quality and resolution. What is seen differs considerably from what conventional electron microscopy has shown previously and it is seen with more details. Our findings are demonstrated with images of cyanobacteria and skin.