To obtain 3D structural information for samples that are too thick for cryo-electron microscopy and cryo-electron tomography. Resolution ~1nm.
Tissues or cells are cryo-protected and vitrified at high pressure. Slices are cut from the blocks using a cryo-ultramicrotome and imaged at cryo temperatures by transmission electron microscopy.
Samples are imaged in a close-to-native environment. Reconstruction of the image series recorded from sequential slices gives the 3D structure.
Requires specialised skills and training. Freezing and cutting artifacts can occur. Resolution in the z direction is limited by the thickness of the slice.
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