High resolution scanning electron microscopy of cells using dielectrophoresis

S.-Y. Tang, W. Zhang, R. Soffe, S. Nahavandi, R. Shukla, K. Khoshmanesh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)
131 Downloads (Pure)


Ultrastructural analysis of cells can reveal valuable information about their morphological, physiological, and biochemical characteristics. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) has been widely used to provide high-resolution images from the surface of biological samples. However, samples need to be dehydrated and coated with conductive materials for SEM imaging. Besides, immobilizing non-adherent cells during processing and analysis is challenging and requires complex fixation protocols. In this work, we developed a novel dielectrophoresis based microfluidic platform for interfacing non-adherent cells with high-resolution SEM at low vacuum mode. The system enables rapid immobilization and dehydration of samples without deposition of chemical residues over the cell surface. Moreover, it enables the on-chip chemical stimulation and fixation of immobilized cells with minimum dislodgement. These advantages were demonstrated for comparing the morphological changes of non-budding and budding yeast cells following Lyticase treatment.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere104109
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 4 Aug 2014


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