Scanning Electron Microscopy


Instrumentation and techniques have been developed for the cryoultramicrotomy of isolated bovine adrenal chromaffin cells frozen with a liquid helium cooled copper block method. X-ray microanalysis and electron energy loss spectroscopy were used to measure both light and heavy element content of the adrenal storage granule, the chromaffin granule. Ultrathin freeze-dried cryosections usually have a fine compression which in cellular structure compresses the cytoplasm between organelles. Nuclei, chromaffin granules, and vacuoles are relatively free of compression. The mechanism for this distortion is not known al though static charge induced sticking to the knife may be the most probable cause.

The elemental composition of the chromaffin storage granules is in reasonable agreement with the known biochemical species present in granules.

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