A New Microbiopsy System Enables Rapid Preparation of Tissue for High-Pressure Freezing

  • Dimitri Vanhecke
  • Peter Eggli
  • Werner Graber
  • Daniel Studer
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology™ book series (MIMB, volume 319)


A microbiopsy system was developed to overcome long sampling times for tissues before they are cryo-fixed by high-pressure freezing. A commercially available biopsy gun was adapted to the needs of small-organ excisions, and biopsy needles were modified to allow small samples (0.6 mm k 1.2 mm × 0.3 mm) to be taken. Specimen platelets with a central slot of the same dimensions as the biopsy are used. A self-made transfer device (in the meantime optimized by Leica-Microsystems [Vienna, Austria]) coordinates the transfer of the excised sample from the biopsy needle into the platelet slot and the subsequent loading in a specimen holder, which is then introduced into a high-pressure freezer (Leica EM PACT; Leica Microsystems, Vienna, Austria). Thirty seconds preparation time is needed from excision until high-pressure freezing. Brain, liver, kidney and muscle excisions of anesthetised rats are shown to be well frozen.

Key Words

Cryo-fixation electron microscopy fast sampling freeze substitution high-pressure freezing microbiopsy system rat tissue 


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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dimitri Vanhecke
    • 1
  • Peter Eggli
    • 1
  • Werner Graber
    • 1
  • Daniel Studer
    • 1
  1. 1.Anatomical InstituteUniversity of BernBernSwitzerland

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