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Apical polarity in three-dimensional culture systems: where to now?

Description: Delineation of the mechanisms that establish and maintain the polarity of epithelial tissues is essential to understanding morphogenesis, tissue specificity and cancer. Three-dimensional culture assays provide a useful platform for dissecting these processes but, as discussed in a recent study in BMC Biology on the culture of mammary gland epithelial cells, multiple parameters that influence the model must be taken into account.
Date: January 21, 2010
Creator: Inman, J. L. & Bissell, Mina
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Microaspiration for high-pressure freezing: a new method for ultrastructural preservation of fragile and sparse tissues for TEM and electron tomography

Description: High-pressure freezing is the preferred method to prepare thick biological specimens for ultrastructural studies. However, the advantages obtained by this method often prove unattainable for samples that are difficult to handle during the freezing and substitution protocols. Delicate and sparse samples are difficult to manipulate and maintain intact throughout the sequence of freezing, infiltration, embedding, and final orientation for sectioning and subsequent TEM imaging. An established approach to surmount these difficulties is the use of cellulose microdialysis tubing to transport the sample. With an inner diameter of 200 micrometers, the tubing protects small and fragile samples within the thickness constraints of high-pressure freezing, and the tube ends can be sealed to avoid loss of sample. Importantly, the transparency of the tubing allows optical study of the specimen at different steps in the process. Here, we describe the use of a micromanipulator and microinjection apparatus to handle and position delicate specimens within the tubing. We report two biologically significant examples that benefit from this approach, 3D cultures of mammary epithelial cells and cochlear outer hair cells. We illustrate the potential for correlative light and electron microscopy as well as electron tomography.
Date: February 13, 2008
Creator: Auer, Manfred; Triffo, W.J.; Palsdottir, H.; McDonald, K.L.; Inman, J.L.; Bissell, M.J. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department