A Novel Class of Labelling Agents for Cellular Imaging by Liquid Phase Electron Microscopy

Abstract number
Virtual Early Career European Microscopy Congress 2020
Presentation Form
Submitted Oral
Corresponding Email
[email protected]
LSA.6 - Applications of correlative microscopy of biological systems
Mr Cesare De Pace (3), Dr Lorena Ruiz Perez (3), Prof Giovanni Bruno (2, 5), Prof Xiaohe Tian (1), Prof Giuseppe Battaglia (3, 4, 6)
1. Anhui University
2. CNR
3. University College London (UCL)
5. University of Bari

Cellular Labels; Correlative Light and Electron Microscopy (CLEM); Liquid-Phase Electron Microscopy (LPEM); Multimodal Microscopy.

Abstract text

Cellular imaging is of pivotal importance in understanding biomolecules structures and their functions. It requires probes to increase contrast of the cellular target under study. Few probes bestow fluorescent response and electronic diffraction contrast. Yet, they may hinder cell functions due to their dimensions. Nano-engineered organometallic probes meld compatibility for correlative light and electron microscopy and target selectivity. These organometallic probes provide high electron density due to their metal core, usually made by elements which do not belong to cells, such as iridium. Thus, this peculiarity may offer the possibility to analyse the elemental composition of the specimen also through energy-filtered transmission electron microscopy (EF-TEM). We also exploit these compounds correlating laser microscopy and  liquid-phase electron microscopy (LPEM) to analyse pivotal components of whole cell, such as nucleus and cytoskeleton, without the need for solidification technique (e.g. resin-embedding or cryo-treatment). 

The novel class of labelling agents have started to demonstrate their unique properties as multimodal probes for microscopic techniques such as laser microscopy, TEM and EF-TEM, and LPEM. Thus, compared to other labelling agents, the organometallic compounds may very well represent a novel class of microscopic probes, shedding light on novel investigations of cellular mechanisms, and, ultimately, their associated pathologies.