Iron‐polyethylene glycol impregnation: An attempt to reduce shrinkage of specimens in SEM preparation

A. Ohtsuka, T. Murakami

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Glutaraldehyde‐fixed HeLa cells were soaked in a mixture of fine cationic iron colloid and polyethylene glycol, immersed in tannic acid solution containing guanidine hydrochloride, and stained with osmic acid. The treated cells showed little shrinkage in the scanning electron microscope even after ethanol dehydration and CO2 critical point drying. On the assumption that every HeLa cell maintained contact with each other, preservation rate was computed as 0.975 × 0.0033 in linear dimension. Microvilli on the cell surface were well preserved, and few undersirable deposits were noted on the specimen surface. This treatment was also applicable to bulk staining of tissue blocks, such as rat kidneys. The podocyte foot processes and endothelial micropores of the glomerulus were well preserved; the epithelial cells of the Bowman's urinary capsule were not collapsed; the microvilli of the brush border of the proximal convoluted urinary tubule kept their ordinary length (2 μm).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-182
Number of pages6
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Instrumentation


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