Correlating microscopy techniques and ToF-SIMS analysis of fully grown mammalian oocytes†
The 2D-molecular thin film analysis protocol for fully grown mice oocytes is described using an innovative approach. Time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (ToF-SIMS), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), atomic force microscopy (AFM) and optical microscopy imaging were applied to the same mice oocyte section on the same sample holder. A freeze-dried mice oocyte was infiltrated into embedding media, e.g. Epon, and then was cut with a microtome and 2 μm thick sections were transferred onto an ITO coated conductive glass. Mammalian oocytes can contain “nucleolus-like body” (NLB) units and ToF-SIMS analysis was used to investigate the NLB composition. The ion-spatial distribution in the cell components was identified and compared with the images acquired by SEM, AFM and optical microscopy. This study presents a significant advancement in cell embryology, cell physiology and cancer-cell biochemistry.