Jump to main content
Jump to site search

Issue 24, 2018
Previous Article Next Article

Correlative light and electron microscopy for complex cellular structures on PDMS substrates with coded micro-patterns

Author affiliations

Abstract

Fluorescence light microscopy (FLM) is commonly used for localizing specific cellular and subcellular targets. Electron microscopy (EM), on the other hand, can reveal ultrastructural details of cellular architectures beyond the limit of optical resolution. Correlative light and electron microscopy (CLEM) that combines the two techniques has proven valuable in various cell biological applications that require both specificity and resolution. Here, we report an efficient and easy-to-use CLEM system, and its applications in studying neuronal synapses. The system utilizes patterned symbols to encode coordinates on micro-fabricated polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) substrates, on which dissociated primary hippocampal neurons grow and form synaptic connections. After imaging and localizing specifically labeled synapses with FLM, samples are embedded in resin blocks and sectioned for EM analysis. The patterned symbols on PDMS substrates provide coordinate information, allowing efficient co-registration between FLM and EM images with high precision. A custom-developed software package achieves automated EM image collection, FLM/EM alignment, and EM navigation. With this CLEM system, we have obtained high quality electron tomograms of fluorescently labeled synapses along dendrites of hippocampal neurons and analyzed docking statistics of synaptic vesicles (SVs) in different subtypes of excitatory synapses. This technique provides an efficient approach to combine functional studies with ultrastructural analysis of heterogeneous neuronal synapses, as well as other subcellular structures in general.

Graphical abstract: Correlative light and electron microscopy for complex cellular structures on PDMS substrates with coded micro-patterns

Back to tab navigation

Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
06 Jul 2018
Accepted
18 Oct 2018
First published
12 Nov 2018

This article is Open Access

Lab Chip, 2018,18, 3840-3848
Article type
Paper

Correlative light and electron microscopy for complex cellular structures on PDMS substrates with coded micro-patterns

R. Sun, X. Chen, C. Yin, L. Qi, P. Lau, H. Han and G. Bi, Lab Chip, 2018, 18, 3840
DOI: 10.1039/C8LC00703A

This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported Licence. Material from this article can be used in other publications provided that the correct acknowledgement is given with the reproduced material and it is not used for commercial purposes.

Reproduced material should be attributed as follows:

  • For reproduction of material from NJC:
    [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) on behalf of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and the RSC.
  • For reproduction of material from PCCP:
    [Original citation] - Published by the PCCP Owner Societies.
  • For reproduction of material from PPS:
    [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) on behalf of the European Society for Photobiology, the European Photochemistry Association, and RSC.
  • For reproduction of material from all other RSC journals:
    [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry.

Information about reproducing material from RSC articles with different licences is available on our Permission Requests page.


Social activity

Search articles by author

Spotlight

Advertisements