This application is for three imaging systems specially designed to create 3D images of tissues and scaffolds at 3 different scales. The highest magnification is provided by a scanning electron microscope combined with a microtome- this gradually removes very thin (<50nm) slices from the sample imaging the surface that is revealed after each slice. This creates a stack of images representing the structure of the cells down to the components making up the cells and the fine detail of scaffolds- with this technique the membranes within the cells can clearly be seen. The next level of magnification uses a light microscope that shines a very thin sheet of light (4-10 micro meters). This allows us to look at much larger blocks of tissue (up to a cm cube - a sugar cube) without cutting it and again create a 3D image stack to represent this. Individual cells are easily seen and they can be labelled so we can identify cell types and track them over time. However there are some samples that light will not penetrate or that are too large - for these samples the third instrument, a high resolution microCT (computed tomography) imaging device is used. This uses X-rays to image through large samples without damaging them and the design of this new instrument can allows us to distinguish individual cells and some of their features in a way that is not currently possible.
Folding of the syncytiotrophoblast basal plasma membrane increases the surface area available for exchange in human placenta
Stanimir A Tashev,
Emma M Lofthouse,
David S Chatelet,
Anton M. Page,, 2022 , Placenta , 117 , 57--63