Scanning Microscopy


Electron microscopes are not yet routine instruments in modern dermatological pathology even though they have provided detailed data about pathological changes in the skin for more than three decades. At present, dermatopathology is still dominated by light microscopy and especially so since the introduction of immunological techniques such as the use of monoclonal antibodies. These tools applied at electron microscopic resolution, however, may provide the ultimate identification of cells and subcellular components. In addition, electron microscopes have no peers in areas of quantitative investigation at subcellular levels, e.g. morphometry.

The electron microprobe provides a unique tool in elemental analysis and may be used for the analysis of conventonally prepared specimens when foreign matter, not soluble in water, is deposited in the tissue. On the other hand, with water soluble substances the technique is most effective when freeze sections are utilized.

This paper gives a selected review of the present day status of quantitative skin research as analysed with electron microscopy and the related technique of electron microprobe analysis.

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