Giovanna Grandinetti and Sarah Mikula at the Center for Electron Microscopy and Analysis (CEMAS) and Jeff Tonniges at the Campus Microscopy and Imaging Facility (CMIF) received a Staff Career Development grant to develop a correlative light and electron microscopy (CLEM) pipeline at The Ohio State University. The grant is to develop “Cross-Facility Collaboration for the Development of On-Site Correlative Light and Electron Microscopy Imaging Techniques.”
“This grant will help the Ohio State research community by bringing access to an advanced microscopy technique directly to researchers through core facilities right here at The Ohio State University,” said Mikula, laboratory supervisor and principal investigator (PI) at CEMAS. “It will also increase collaborative research between our two microscopy facilities, which is beneficial to researchers across the university and beyond.”
Correlative light and electron microscopy (CLEM) is a method by which a sample is imaged using light or fluorescence microscopy to find a protein or area of interest, then subsequently imaged using high-resolution electron microscopy on the same area. Combining both techniques allows researchers to acquire more information than using each technique individually and to determine answers to research questions they could not otherwise obtain.
Some potential uses for CLEM include studying virus or nanoparticle-treated cells to gain high resolution information on intracellular trafficking or observing specific protein-protein interactions on the cytoskeleton. The Ohio State University currently has state-of-the-art light microscopy capabilities housed at CMIF and world-class electron microscopy capabilities housed predominantly at CEMAS, however a CLEM workflow on campus had yet to be established.
CLEM allows fully hydrated and potentially live cell specimens to be examined by confocal or multiphoton microscopy, then subsequently prepared for examination for further imaging using electron microscopy. CLEM is applicable for both scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM).
This development of a CLEM workflow at Ohio State is a collaborative effort between CEMAS and CMIF. Creating a streamlined workflow capitalizes on the individual strengths of the two core facilities and sets the foundation for future collaborations. Sadie Potts, a Student Research Assistant at CMIF, is currently helping with building these workflows.
“CMIF and CEMAS combined serve OSU’s Comprehensive Cancer Center Microscopy Shared Resource (MSR), funded by the National Institutes of Health, so it is very exciting to collaborate on this project together,” said Tonniges, senior research associate at CMIF. “We look forward to continuing our collaborations in the future.”
For more information about how microscopy services can positively impact your research, please reach out to CCC_Microscopy@osu.edu.
Confocal and transmission electron microscopy of brain tissue imaged by CLEM technique. Image from S. Modla and K.J. Czymmek, Correlated Microscopy: a powerful tool for exploring neurological cells and tissues.