Virology

Study viruses with integrated light and electron microscopy

Study cellular dynamics and the ultrastructure of infected cells simultaneously by combining the power of light and electron microscopy. With our cryo-CLEM solutions, you can detect viruses with fluorescent light microscopy and study their unique ultrastructure.

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What we can help you to achieve
  • Avoid manual overlay of light and electron images
  • Identify and image viruses with light and electron microscopy
  • Efficiently prepare lamellas for further cryo-ET workflows
Header an integrated CLEM image showing Tupanvirus-infected amoeba cells

Understanding viruses

In the field of virology, Giant Viruses have received special interest because they can infect a broader host range and because they can enter cells through phagocytosis that does not require specific viral-host interactions. Fluorescence microscopy using fluorescent markers provides analytical, quantitative and three-dimensional data. Because the diameter of Giant Viruses is larger than the optical resolution limit, they are readily visible in bright-field (BF) transmitted light or fluorescence microscopy. However, Giant Viruses are rarely observed by LM due to the lack of access to ultrastructure since only electron microscopy can provide structural information with sufficiently high resolution. Integrated correlative light and electron microscopy (CLEM) is a powerful tool to bridge the gap between both methods.

Cryogenic electron tomography (cryo-ET) is a novel technique which helps to study viruses in their near-native cellular environment and to reveal the interaction between the virus and its host. Many viruses evolve very rapidly due to the high mutation rate and short replication time, and cryo-ET can be particularly useful to examine the structural changes of the viruses during evolution. Cryo fluorescence light microscopy can help researchers with finding the structure of interest and ensure this structure is present in a prepared lamella. We are also currently developing an automated sample transfer solution compatible with autoloader systems on most existing cryo-TEM systems.

What can you achieve with integrated CLEM?

The combination of light and electron microscopy enables you to zoom in and out seamlessly on the same sample and observe the cellular dynamics and the ultrastructure of any object of interest. The SECOM platform is a fast, accurate and easy-to-use system that enables one to do correlative microscopy extremely fast with the highest optical quality and overlay accuracy. The SECOM can successfully detect Giant Viruses like the Tupan virus by FM while simultaneously providing information on the EM ultrastructure of the Tupanvirus capsid and tail features.

Fluorescence image of a 100 nm thick ultra-thin section on ITO slide showing individual Tupanvirus particles High magnification SEM image of the same section, with no EM stain, showing individual Tupanviruses with the typical capsid and attached tail
(1)Fluorescence image of a 100 nm thick ultra-thin section on ITO slide using a 60X water immersion objective with an NA of 1.2, showing individual Tupanvirus particles both inside and outside the cell (2) High magnification SEM image of the same section, with no EM stain, showing individual Tupanviruses with the typical capsid and attached tail

Choose the right product for your research

Delmic CLEM solutions consist of powerful integrated correlative light and electron microscopy systems, which can help you image your sample at high resolution with a streamlined workflow and automated overlay.

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Cryo and CLEM solutions

Talk to an expert

Get in touch with our applications specialist Marit to get more information.
Call +31 (0)15 744 01 58 or book a meeting on her agenda.

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Delmic applications specialist Marit Smeets