Cryotechniques in Biological Electron Microscopy

  • Rudolf Alexander Steinbrecht
  • Karl Zierold

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages I-XVII
  2. Fundamentals

  3. General Methodology

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 85-85
    2. Hellmuth Sitte, Ludwig Edelmann, Klaus Neumann
      Pages 87-113
    3. Jacques Dubochet, Marc Adrian, Jiin-Ju Chang, Jean Lepault, Alasdair W. McDowall
      Pages 114-131
    4. Karl Zierold
      Pages 132-148
    5. Rudolf Alexander Steinbrecht, Martin Müller
      Pages 149-172
  4. Special Aspects

  5. Appendix

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 283-283
    2. Hellmuth Sitte, Klaus Neumann, Ludwig Edelmann
      Pages 285-289
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 291-297

About this book


To preserve tissue by freezing is an ancient concept going back pre­ sumably to the practice of ice-age hunters. At first glance, it seems as simple as it is attractive: the dynamics of life are frozen in, nothing is added and nothing withdrawn except thermal energy. Thus, the result should be more life-like than after poisoning, tan­ ning and drying a living cell as we may rudely call the conventional preparation of specimens for electron microscopy. Countless mishaps, however, have taught electron microscopists that cryotechniques too are neither simple nor necessarily more life-like in their outcome. Not too long ago, experts in cryotechniques strictly denied that a cell could truly be vitrified, i.e. that all the solutes and macro­ molecules could be fixed within non-crystalline, glass-like solid water without the dramatic shifts and segregation effects caused by crystallization. We now know that vitrification is indeed pos­ sible. Growing insight into the fundamentals of the physics of water and ice, as well as increasing experience of how to cool cells rapidly enough have enlivened the interest in cryofixation and pro­ duced a wealth of successful applications.


X-ray electron microscopy enzyme enzymes high pressure microscopy molecule replication tissue

Editors and affiliations

  • Rudolf Alexander Steinbrecht
    • 1
  • Karl Zierold
    • 2
  1. 1.Max-Planck-Institut für VerhaltensphysiologieSeewiesenGermany
  2. 2.Max-Planck-Institut für SystemphysiologieDortmundGermany

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1987
  • Publisher Name Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-3-642-72817-4
  • Online ISBN 978-3-642-72815-0
  • Buy this book on publisher's site