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This study aimed to compare three methods of cell death assessment [trypan blue exclusion (TBE), propidium iodide viability assay (PIVA), and transmission electron microscopy] to evaluate fresh and frozen–thawed chicken primordial germ cells (PGCs). For this study, chicken PGCs were collected from ROSS 908 and Oravka breed hens, cryopreserved-thawed according to the protocol, and submitted for different cell death assessments. We observed significant differences between TBE and PIVA techniques in the detectable proportion of dead cells in fresh (14.14 ± 1.27 versus 7.16 ± 1.02%, respectively) and frozen–thawed (44.00 ± 2.11 versus 33.33 ± 1.67%, respectively) samples of the Oravka breed. Moreover, significant differences (p < 0.05) between TBE and PIVA techniques in the detectable proportion of dead cells in fresh (9.20 ± 0.60 versus 5.37 ± 0.51%) samples of ROSS 908 breed were recorded. Differences may be due to methodological, sensitivity, and toxicity features of each technique tested, where TB stains cell cytoplasm of dead cells and PI penetrates and intercalates into DNA of dead cells. Therefore, we suggest using a more precise and sensitive PIVA for viability evaluation of PGCs. Further research is needed to apply various fluorochromes for more detailed cell viability evaluation.
The difference in the defect structures produced by different ion masses in a tungsten lattice is investigated using 80 MeV Au7+ ions and 10 MeV B3+ ions. The details of the defects produced by ions in recrystallized tungsten foil samples are studied using transmission electron microscopy. Dislocations of type b = 1/2 and  were observed in the analysis. While highly energetic gold ion produced small clusters of defects with very few dislocation lines, boron has produced large and sparse clusters with numerous dislocation lines. The difference in the defect structures could be due to the difference in separation between primary knock-on atoms produced by gold and boron ions.
Trichomonas vaginalis is a protozoan parasite that causes trichomoniasis in humans, the most prevalent non-viral sexually transmitted disease (STD). Imidazole compounds are used for the treatment of trichomoniasis, and metronidazole is the most commonly prescribed. However, these compounds can lead to parasite resistance and unwanted side effects. Therefore, there is a need for an alternative treatment for this disease. Here, we explored the potential of clotrimazole (CTZ) and zinc compounds, as well as CTZ complexed with zinc salts ( acetate [Zn(CTZ)2(Ac)2] and  a chloride [Zn(CTZ)2Cl2] complexes) against T. vaginalis. We synthesized the zinc complexed CTZ compounds and determined their concentration values that inhibited parasite growth by 50% (IC50). We used scanning and transmission electron microscopy to visualize the ultrastructural alterations induced by CTZ and their zinc complexes. The incubation of the parasites with [Zn(CTZ)2(Ac)2] complex inhibited their growth, yielding an IC50 of 4.9 µm. Moreover, there were changes in the shape of treated parasites, including the formation of surface projections that subsequently detached from the cell, in addition to changes in the hydrogenosomes, endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi complex. We found [Zn(CTZ)2(Ac)2] to be a highly effective compound against T. vaginalis in vitro, suggesting its potential utility as an alternative chemotherapy for trichomoniasis.
There are more than 30 distinct types of mammalian retinal ganglion cells, each sensitive to different features of the visual environment. In rabbit retina, they can be grouped into four classes according to their morphology and stratification of their dendrites in the inner plexiform layer (IPL). The goal of this study was to describe the synaptic inputs to one type of Class IV ganglion cell, the third member of the sparsely branched Class IV cells (SB3). One cell of this type was partially reconstructed in a retinal connectome developed using automated transmission electron microscopy (ATEM). It had slender, relatively straight dendrites that ramify in the sublamina a of the IPL. The dendrites of the SB3 cell were always postsynaptic in the IPL, supporting its identity as a ganglion cell. It received 29% of its input from bipolar cells, a value in the middle of the range for rabbit retinal ganglion cells studied previously. The SB3 cell typically received only one synapse per bipolar cell from multiple types of presumed OFF bipolar cells; reciprocal synapses from amacrine cells at the dyad synapses were infrequent. In a few instances, the bipolar cells presynaptic to the SB3 ganglion cell also provided input to an amacrine cell presynaptic to the ganglion cell. There was apparently no crossover inhibition from narrow-field ON amacrine cells. Most of the amacrine cell inputs were from axons and dendrites of GABAergic amacrine cells, likely providing inhibitory input from outside the classical receptive field.
Highly-directional image artifacts such as ion mill curtaining, mechanical scratches, or image striping from beam instability degrade the interpretability of micrographs. These unwanted, aperiodic features extend the image along a primary direction and occupy a small wedge of information in Fourier space. Deleting this wedge of data replaces stripes, scratches, or curtaining, with more complex streaking and blurring artifacts—known within the tomography community as “missing wedge” artifacts. Here, we overcome this problem by recovering the missing region using total variation minimization, which leverages image sparsity-based reconstruction techniques—colloquially referred to as compressed sensing (CS)—to reliably restore images corrupted by stripe-like features. Our approach removes beam instability, ion mill curtaining, mechanical scratches, or any stripe features and remains robust at low signal-to-noise. The success of this approach is achieved by exploiting CS's inability to recover directional structures that are highly localized and missing in Fourier Space.
Early detection of altered epithelium can help in controlling the further progression by timely intervention. Alterations in cellular adhesion are one of the hallmarks of cancer progression, which can be detected at the intracellular level using high-resolution electron microscopy. This study aimed to evaluate the role of electron microscopy in the establishment of ultrastructural markers for early detection of altered epithelium using tissues from 4-Nitroquinoline-1-Oxide (4NQO) induced rat tongue carcinogenesis. Our previous study using light microscopy displayed no histopathological alterations in 4NQO treated tissues until 40 days of treatment, while dysplasia, papilloma and carcinoma were detected at 80/120, 160 and 200 days, respectively. However, electron microscopy detected alterations such as detachment of desmosomes from cell membranes and their clustering in the cytoplasm, increased tonofilaments, keratohyaline granules and thickened corneum in 40 days treated corresponding tissues. These alterations are apparent with hyperkeratosis/hyperplasia but remained undetected using light microscopy. Further, in dysplasia, papilloma and carcinoma, gradual and significant loss of desmosomes, leading to the significant widening of intercellular spaces, was observed using iTEM software. These parameters may serve as indicators for progression of oral cancer. Our results highlight the importance of electron microscopy in the early detection of subcellular changes in the altered epithelium.
Two preferred textures were observed in the Alhama de Murcia Fault rocks: (a) foliated bands (>100 µm thick) rich in well-crystallized dioctahedral micas, quartz, hematite and dolomite; and (b) ultrafine-grained bands (<100 µm thick) made of patches composed of small mica crystals (<15 µm) and dispersed Fe-oxides. In both textures, kaolinite forms intergrowths or patches of randomly oriented crystals filling gaps or opening layers of presumably inherited detrital mica crystals, which is interpreted as an epitaxial growth from fluids. The Na/K ratio of mica crystals in the thin ultrafine-grained bands shows a wider range than the micas from the foliated bands including muscovitic, intermediate Na/K and paragonitic compositions. The absence of the 0.98 nm intermediate peak in the diffractograms indicates that the small micas are submicroscopically paragonite and phengite intergrowths. The d001 values of the K-dioctahedral micas in the <2 µm and whole fractions are clearly different from each other. The d001 values of micas of the <2 µm fraction are larger, indicating a higher K and lower Na content in the small micas. Their composition corresponds to lower temperatures, suggesting their growth during a genetic episode in the fault. The textural relationships indicate a late growth of kaolinite, probably due to the fluid–rock interaction along fault planes and fractures. The neoformed clay minerals might alter the stability of the fault plane. The absence of expandable clay minerals and the relatively high frictional strength of kaolinite under wet conditions might explain the observed velocity-neutral behaviour of this gouge and earthquake propagation towards the surface.
This study investigated the histomorphological features of developing rabbit respiratory acini during the postnatal period. On the 1st day of postnatal life, the epithelium of terminal bronchiole consisted of clear cells which intercalated between few ciliated and abundant non-ciliated (Clara) cells. At this age, the rabbit lung was in the alveolar stage. The terminal bronchioles branched into several alveolar ducts, which opened into atria that communicated to alveolar sacs. All primary and secondary inter-alveolar septa were thick and showed a double-capillary network (immature septa). The primitive alveoli were lined largely by type-I pneumocytes and mature type-II pneumocytes. The type-I pneumocytes displayed an intimate contact with the endothelial cells of the blood capillaries forming the blood–air barrier (0.90 ± 0.03 µm in thickness). On the 3rd day, we observed intense septation and massive formation of new secondary septa giving the alveolar sac a crenate appearance. The mean thickness of the air–blood barrier decreased to reach 0.78 ± 0.14 µm. On the 7th day, the terminal bronchiole epithelium consisted of ciliated and non-ciliated cells. The non-ciliated cells could be identified as Clara cells and serous cells. New secondary septa were formed, meanwhile the inter-alveolar septa become much thinner and the air–blood barrier thickness was 0.66 ± 0.03 µm. On the 14th day, the terminal bronchiole expanded markedly and the pulmonary alveoli were thin-walled. Inter-alveolar septa become much thinner and single capillary layers were observed. In the 1st month, the secondary septa increased in length forming mature cup-shaped alveoli. In the 2nd month, the lung tissue grew massively to involve the terminal respiratory unit. In the 3rd month, the pulmonary parenchyma appeared morphologically mature. All inter-alveolar septa showed a single-capillary layer, and primordia of new septa were also observed. The thickness of the air–blood barrier was much thinner; 0.56 ± 0.16 µm. TUNEL assay after birth revealed that the apoptotic cells were abundant and distributed in the epithelium lining of the pulmonary alveoli and the interstitium of the thick interalveolar septa. On the 7th day, and onward, the incidence of apoptotic cells decreased markedly. This study concluded that the lung development included two phases: the first phase (from birth to the 14th days) corresponds to the period of bulk alveolarization and microvascular maturation. The second phase (from the 14th days to the full maturity) corresponds to the lung growth and late alveolarization.
Although atom probe tomography (APT) reconstructions do not directly influence the local elemental analysis, any structural inferences from APT volumes demand a reliable reconstruction of the point cloud. Accurate estimation of the reconstruction parameters is crucial to obtain reliable spatial scaling. In the current work, a new automated approach of calibrating atom probe reconstructions is developed using only one correlative projection electron microscopy (EM) image. We employed an algorithm that implements a 2D cross-correlation of microstructural features observed in both the APT reconstructions and the corresponding EM image. We apply this protocol to calibrate reconstructions in a Cu(In,Ga)Se2-based semiconductor and in a Co-based superalloy. This work enables us to couple chemical precision to structural information with relative ease.
Adding Au to Pd nanoparticles (NPs) can impart high catalytic activity with respect to hydrogenation of a wide range of substances. These materials are often synthesized by reducing metallic precursors; hence, sonochemical and solvothermal processes are commonly used to anchor these bimetals onto thin supports, including graphene. Although similar NPs have been studied reasonably well, a clear understanding of structural characteristics relative to their synthesis parameters is lacking, due to limitations in characterization techniques, which may prevent optimization of this very promising catalyst. In this report, a strategic approach has been used to identify this structural and material synthesis correlation, starting with controlled sample preparation and followed by detailed characterization. This includes advanced scanning transmission electron microscopy and electron energy loss spectroscopy; the latter using a state-of-the-art instrumentation to map the distribution of Pd and Au, and to identify chemical state of the Pd NPs, which has not been previously reported. Results show that catalytic bimetal NP clusters were made of small zero-valent Pd NPs aggregating to form a shell around an Au core. Not only can the described characterization approach be applied to similar material systems, but the results can guide the optimization of the synthesis procedures.
The finding of this study is that the interaction volume in electron microscopy in transmission is well ordered laterally, with a remarkable and unexpected consequence being that lateral subsections of the interaction volume produce subsections of the Kikuchi diffraction pattern. It makes the microstructure of samples directly visible in Kikuchi patterns. This is first illustrated with polycrystalline Ti–10Al–25Nb with an on-axis transmission Kikuchi diffraction set-up in a scanning electron microscope. It is then shown via a Monte Carlo simulation and a large-angle convergent-beam electron diffraction experiment that this phenomenon finds its origin in the nature of the differential elastic and quasi-elastic cross sections. This phenomenon is then quantified by a careful image analysis of Kikuchi patterns recorded across a vertical interface in a silicon sample specifically designed and fabricated. A Monte Carlo simulation reproducing all the geometric parameters is conducted. Experiments and simulations match very well qualitatively, but with a slight quantitativity gap. The specificity of the thermal diffuse scattering cross-section, not available in the simulation, is thought to be responsible for this gap. Beside Kikuchi diffraction, the case of diffraction spots and diffuse background present in the pattern is also discussed.
The aim of this study is to evaluate the potential use of titanium foil coated with sputtered silver and copper films as a novel brazing filler for joining TiAl alloys. For this purpose, a detailed microstructural characterization of the resulting brazing interfaces was carried out. The development of brazing fillers that allow the joining of TiAl alloys without compromising the service temperature is a fruitful prospect. Brazing experiments were performed in a vacuum at 900, 950, and 980°C, with a dwell time of 30 min. Microstructural characterization reveals that brazing joints can be obtained successfully at 950 and 980°C. The interface consists of a large central region of α-Ti with an amount of Al and Ti–Ag compound and thin layers, mainly composed of intermetallic compounds, formed close to the base material. A novel brazing filler consisting of Ti foil coated with sputtered Ag and Cu films inhibits the extensive formation of soft (Ag) zones or coarse brittle Ti–Al–(Cu,Ni) particles. Hence, the need for post-brazing heat treatments for the joining of TiAl alloys was avoided.
This research focuses on the microstructural characterization of nickel matrix composites reinforced by carbon nanotubes (CNTs). The nanocomposites were produced by a conventional powder metallurgy process and the dispersion of CNTs and mixture with nickel powders was performed in a single step by ultrasonication. Microstructural characterization of Ni–CNT nanocomposites was performed by scanning and transmission electron microscopy, electron backscattered diffraction, high-resolution transmission electron microscopy, selected area electron diffraction, and fast Fourier transform analyses. This characterization revealed CNTs embedded in the nickel grains and mainly presented as clusters at the grain boundaries. CNTs hinder recrystallization during sintering, and dislocation cells and subgrains form as a result of the recovery process.
Digyny, the presence of a third pronucleus due to the failure of second polar body extrusion, is problematic after intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) practices. Mitochondria have critical roles such as production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and regulation of Ca2+ homeostasis during oocyte maturation, fertilization and the following development, while the regulation of meiotic spindle formation, chromosome segregation, pronuclear apposition and cytokinesis is closely associated with the cytoskeleton. In this study, mitochondrial membrane potential, distribution of F-actin and γ-tubulin, and the ultrastructure of three pronuclear (3PN) oocytes were investigated. 3PN oocytes after ICSI procedure were taken from patients who were enrolled in assisted reproduction programmes. For mitochondrial membrane potential analysis, fresh oocytes stained with the mitochondrial membrane potential probe JC-1, were evaluated under fluorescence microscopy. The mitochondrial membrane potential of three pronuclear oocytes showed similar results to normal zygotes. γ-Tubulin was stained strongly at the subplasmalemmal domain and microfilaments were localized at the cortical, but not the perinuclear, area. Cytoplasmic halos were moderately or not detected by electron microscopy; lipofuscin granules, degenerated mitochondria, and multilamellated bodies were seen in the ooplasm. Immunohistochemistry and electron microscopic findings suggested that mitochondrial membrane potential has no direct effect on second polar body extrusion. This abnormality can be associated with an altered cytoskeleton due to poor oocyte quality.
We here assessed the in vitro efficacy of the naptho-quinone buparvaquone (BPQ) against Besnoitia besnoiti tachyzoites in vitro. BPQ is currently licensed for the treatment of theileriosis in cattle in many countries, but not in the EU. In 4-day treatment assays, BPQ massively impaired tachyzoite proliferation with an IC50 of 10 ± 3 nm, and virtually complete inhibition was obtained in the presence of nm BPQ. Exposure to 1 µm BPQ leads to ultrastructural changes affecting initially the mitochondrial matrix and the cristae. After 96 h, most parasites were largely distorted, filled with cytoplasmic amylopectin granules and vacuoles containing components of unknown composition. Host cell mitochondria did not appear to be notably affected by the drug. However, upon prolonged exposure (14–16 days) to increased BPQ concentrations, B. besnoiti tachyzoites exhibited the capacity to adapt, and they resumed proliferation at dosages of up to 10 µm BPQ, albeit at a lower rate. These BPQ-adapted parasites maintained this lower susceptibility to BPQ treatment after freeze–thawing, and inspection by the transmission electron microscopy revealed that they underwent proliferation in the absence of structurally intact mitochondria.
Background: Helicobacter pylori is a major cause of gastric diseases including gastric cancer. This study was aimed to explore whether hydrotalcite can inhibit H. pylori infection of gastric epithelial cells. Methods: the gastric epithelial cell line GES-1 and the gastric cancer cell line BGC823 were infected with H. pylori at multiplicities of infections (MOIs) of 50:1 and 100:1. Hydrotalcite was added to cell cultures. Cell apoptosis and cell cycle analysis were performed to measure the situation of cell growth. The main changes of cell ultrastructure were observed by transmission electron microscopy. H. pylori cell adhesion was observed by scanning electron microscopy. Results: hydrotalcite could significantly inhibit cell apoptosis of GES-1 and cell proliferation of BGC823 induced by H. pylori infection at an MOI of 50:1. Hydrotalcite treatment protected gastric cells from H. pylori infection, and H. pylori adhesion to gastric cells was reduced. However, hydrotalcite could not reverse damage induced by H. pylori infection at an MOI of 100:1. Conclusion: hydrotalcite can protect gastric cells from H. pylori infection when cell damage is not serious. It can weaken the damage of cells induced by H. pylori and decrease H. pylori adhesion to gastric cells.
Using the recently developed techniques of electron tomography, we have explored the first stages of disfiguring formation of zinc soaps in modern oil paintings. The formation of complexes of zinc ions with fatty acids in paint layers is a major threat to the stability and appearance of many late 19th and early 20th century oil paintings. Moreover, the occurrence of zinc soaps in oil paintings leading to defects is disturbingly common, but the chemical reactions and migration mechanisms leading to large zinc soap aggregates or zones remain poorly understood. State-of-the-art scanning (SEM) and transmission (TEM) electron microscopy techniques, primarily developed for biological specimens, have enabled us to visualize the earliest stages of crystalline zinc soap growth in a reconstructed zinc white (ZnO) oil paint sample. In situ sectioning techniques and sequential imaging within the SEM allowed three-dimensional tomographic reconstruction of sample morphology. Improvements in the detection and discrimination of backscattered electrons enabled us to identify local precipitation processes with small atomic number contrast. The SEM images were correlated to low-dose and high-sensitivity TEM images, with high-resolution tomography providing unprecedented insight into the structure of nucleating zinc soaps at the molecular level. The correlative approach applied here to study phase separation, and crystallization processes specific to a problem in art conservation creates possibilities for visualization of phase formation in a wide range of soft materials.
The electron source brightness is an important parameter of an electron microscope. Reliable and easy brightness measurement routes are not easily found. A determination method for the illumination semi-angle distribution in transmission electron microscopy is even less well documented. Herein, we report a facile measurement route for both entities and demonstrate it on a state-of-the-art instrument. The reduced axial brightness of the FEI X-FEG with a monochromator was determined to be larger than 108 A/(m2 sr V).
Although the core functions and structure of the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN) are well understood, this core is surrounded by questions about the integration of feedforward and feedback connections, interactions between different channels of information, and how activity dependent development restructures synaptic networks. Our understanding of the organization of the mouse LGN is particularly limited given how important it has become as a model system. Advances in circuit scale electron microscopy (cellular connectomics) have made it possible to reconstruct the synaptic connectivity of hundreds of neurons within in a circuit the size of the mouse LGN. These circuit reconstructions can reveal cell type-to-cell type canonical wiring diagrams as well as the higher order wiring motifs that are only visible in reconstructions of intact networks. Connectomic analysis of the LGN therefore not only can answer longstanding questions about the organization of the visual thalamus but also presents unique opportunities for investigating fundamental properties of mammalian circuit formation.
Over the past few decades, remarkable progress has been achieved in terms of understanding the molecular and cellular mechanisms of atherosclerotic vascular calcification and the important role of matrix vesicles in initiating and propagating pathologic tissue mineralization has been widely recognized. Despite these recent advances, however, no definitive data are currently available regarding the texture and composition of the minerals that grow in the vessel wall during the course of the disease. Using different electron microscopy imaging and analysis, we demonstrate that vascular cells can produce and secrete more than one type of matrix vesicles which act as sites for initial mineral deposition independently of their structural features. Our results reveal that apatite formation in the atherosclerotic lesions of the human aorta occur through the deposition of amorphous calcium phosphate that matures over time, transforms into crystalline hydroxyapatite, and radiates towards the lumen of the vesicles, finally forming the calcified spherules. Elemental and mineralogical analyses also demonstrate that the presence of mature and stable amorphous calcium phosphate deposits in the affected tissues is linked to the incorporation of magnesium, which probably delay the conversion to the crystalline phase. Though more rarely, the presence of calcium oxalate crystals has been also documented.