Video_1_Fast Homogeneous En Bloc Staining of Large Tissue Samples for Volume Electron Microscopy.MP4
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Fixation and staining of large tissue samples are critical for the acquisition of volumetric electron microscopic image datasets and the subsequent reconstruction of neuronal circuits. Efficient protocols exist for the staining of small samples, but uniform contrast is often difficult to achieve when the sample diameter exceeds a few hundred micrometers. Recently, a protocol (BROPA, brain-wide reduced-osmium staining with pyrogallol-mediated amplification) was developed that achieves homogeneous staining of the entire mouse brain but requires very long sample preparation times. By exploring modifications of this protocol we developed a substantially faster procedure, fBROPA, that allows for reliable high-quality staining of tissue blocks on the millimeter scale. Modifications of the original BROPA protocol include drastically reduced incubation times and a lead aspartate incubation to increase sample conductivity. Using this procedure, whole brains from adult zebrafish were stained within 4 days. Homogenous high-contrast staining was achieved throughout the brain. High-quality image stacks with voxel sizes of 10 × 10 × 25 nm3 were obtained by serial block-face imaging using an electron dose of ~15 e−/nm2. No obvious reduction in staining quality was observed in comparison to smaller samples stained by other state-of-the-art procedures. Furthermore, high-quality images with minimal charging artifacts were obtained from non-neural tissues with low membrane density. fBROPA is therefore likely to be a versatile and efficient sample preparation protocol for a wide range of applications in volume electron microscopy.
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