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Front. Neuroanat. | doi: 10.3389/fnana.2018.00014

Neuroanatomy from mesoscopic to nanoscopic scales: an improved method for the observation of semithin sections by high-resolution scanning electron microscopy

  • 1Cajal Institute (CSIC), Spain
  • 2Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM), Spain

Semithin sections are commonly used to examine large areas of tissue with an optical microscope, in order to locate and trim the regions that will later be studied with the electron microscope. Ideally, the observation of semithin sections would be from mesoscopic to nanoscopic scales directly, instead of using light microscopy and then electron microscopy. Here we propose a method that makes it possible to obtain high-resolution scanning electron microscopy images of large areas of the brain in the millimeter to nanometer range. Since our method is compatible with light microscopy, it is also feasible to generate hybrid light and electron microscopic maps. Additionally, the same tissue blocks that have been used to obtain semithin sections can later be used, if necessary, for transmission electron microscopy, or for focused ion beam milling and scanning electron microscopy (FIB-SEM).

Keywords: Brain Mapping, Electron microscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM)., light microscopy, Semithin sections, Neuroanatomy

Received: 05 Jan 2018; Accepted: 08 Feb 2018.

Edited by:

Shawn Mikula, National Institute for Physiological Sciences (NIPS), Japan

Reviewed by:

Joachim H. Lübke, Forschungszentrum Jülich, Germany
Christopher A. Mitchell, University of Western Australia, Australia  

Copyright: © 2018 Rodriguez, Turegano-Lopez, DeFelipe and Merchan-Perez. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: MD, PhD. Angel Merchan-Perez, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM), Madrid, Spain, amerchan@fi.upm.es