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Scanning electron microscopy of piliated Neisseria gonorrhoeae processed with hexamethyldisilazane.

Authors
  • Dekker, N P
  • Lammel, C J
  • Brooks, G F
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of electron microscopy technique
Publication Date
Dec 01, 1991
Volume
19
Issue
4
Pages
461–467
Identifiers
PMID: 1686781
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Piliated Neisseria gonorrhoeae are virulent and attach readily to some human mucosal cells. The study of interactions between piliated Neisseria gonorrhoeae and surface structures of eukaryotic cells in tissue culture requires consistent high resolution imaging in scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The combination of the fixatives glutaraldehyde, osmium, tannic acid, and uranyl acetate improves preservation of pili and other delicate structures. Following the critical point drying (CPD) process, pili bundles remained intact, but charging produced image distortion in most of the specimens. The use of hexamethyldisilazane (HMDS) with air drying substantially reduced charging and image distortion. Less contrast and greater resolution of pili bundles and surface structures of bacteria or tissue culture cells were obtained at magnifications of 10,000 or higher. As an alternative to CPD, HMDS processing of cell culture monolayers was simple and was more efficient when a large number of samples was processed.

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