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Research Techniques Made Simple: Volume Scanning Electron Microscopy

  • Ross Laws
    Affiliations
    Electron Microscopy Research Services, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom

    Translational and Clinical Research Institute, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
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  • David H. Steel
    Affiliations
    Bioscience Institute, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
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  • Neil Rajan
    Correspondence
    Correspondence: Neil Rajan, Translational and Clinical Research Institute, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 3BZ, United Kingdom.
    Affiliations
    Translational and Clinical Research Institute, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom

    Department of Dermatology, Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
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Published:November 08, 2021DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jid.2021.10.020
      Volume scanning electron microscopy (VSEM) involves the serial sectioning and imaging of a sample using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), followed by segmentation and three-dimensional (3D) reconstruction using computer software packages to allow visualization of 3D structures. VSEM can reveal qualitative and quantitative properties of organelles and cells within tissues at nanoscale. The ability to visualize spatial relationships of structures of interest within and across cells in 3D space in particular sets VSEM apart from conventional SEM and transmission electron microscopy. Here, we provide an overview of VSEM platforms and image processing, highlighting characteristics that will aid selection of a method to address specific research questions in dermatological research.

      Abbreviations:

      2D (two-dimensional), 3D (three-dimensional), ATUM-SEM (automatic tape-collecting ultramicrotome combined with scanning electron microscopy), CNN (convolutional neural network), DL (deep learning), FIB-SEM (focused ion beam milling combined with scanning electron microscopy), KC (keratinocyte), ML (machine learning), SBF-SEM (serial block face sectioning combined with scanning electron microscopy), SEM (scanning electron microscopy), TEM (transmission electron microscopy), TGN (trans-Golgi network), VSEM (volume scanning electron microscopy)
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