REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0352.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: 3d printing; microscopy; open-source; optics; super-resolution
Online: 14 May 2021 (16:10:24 CEST)
The maker movement has reached the optics labs, empowering researchers to actively create and modify microscope designs and imaging accessories. 3D printing has especially had a disruptive impact on the field, as it entails an accessible new approach in fabrication technologies, namely additive manufacturing, making prototyping in the lab available at low cost. Examples of this trend are taking advantage of the easy availability of 3D printing technology. For example, inexpensive microscopes for education have been designed, such as the FlyPi. Also, the highly complex robotic microscope OpenFlexure represents a clear desire for the democratisation of this technology. 3D printing facilitates new and powerful approaches to science and promotes collaboration between researchers, as 3D designs are easily shared. This holds the unique possibility to extend the open-access concept from knowledge to technology, allowing researchers from everywhere to use and extend model structures. Here we present a review of additive manufacturing applications in microscopy, guiding the user through this new and exciting technology and providing a starting point to anyone willing to employ this versatile and powerful new tool.
TECHNICAL NOTE | doi:10.20944/preprints202203.0146.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biophysics Keywords: expansion microscopy; yeast; Saccharomyces cerevisiae; super-resolution
Online: 10 March 2022 (10:51:02 CET)
The unicellular eukaryote S. cerevisiae is an invaluable resource for the study of basic eukaryotic cellular and molecular processes. However, due to its small size compared to other eukaryotic organisms the study of subcellular structures is challenging. Expansion microscopy (ExM) holds great potential to study the intracellular architecture of yeast, especially when paired with pan-labelling techniques visualising the full protein content inside cells. ExM allows to increase imaging resolution by physically enlarging a fixed sample that is embedded and cross- linked to a swellable gel followed by isotropic expansion in water. The cell wall present in fungi – including yeast – and Gram-positive bacteria is a resilient structure that resists denaturation and conventional digestion processes usually used in ExM protocols, resulting in uneven expansion. Thus, the digestion of the cell wall while maintaining the structure of the resulting protoplasts are crucial steps to ensure isotropic expansion. For this reason, specific experimental strategies are needed, and only a few protocols are currently available. We have developed a modified ExM protocol for S. cerevisiae, with 4x expansion factor, which allows the visualisation of the ultrastructure of the cells. Here, we describe the experimental procedure in detail, focusing on the most critical steps required to achieve isotropic expansion for ExM of S. cerevisiae.