Scanning Microscopy


There has been interest in using the scanning electron microscope (SEM) to study the structure of tissues obscured by other cellular or non-cellular elements almost since the SEM was first used to examine biological tissues. Such interest includes the vessel wall and, in particular, the vascular smooth muscle cells. This paper presents a review of the three basic methodologies that have been employed to allow examination of the vascular smooth muscle, 1) blunt dissection, 2) digestion and 3) microdissection. Discussion of other perivascular elements was not a focus of this review. Also presented is the application of these different methodologies to different pathophysiologic conditions.

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