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Heads you win, tails you lose: filtration processing for the microscopical examination of sperm heads

Brewis, Ian, Watkinson, M.A and Von Ruhland, Christopher 2017. Heads you win, tails you lose: filtration processing for the microscopical examination of sperm heads. Journal of Microscopy 265 (3) , pp. 335-340. 10.1111/jmi.12505

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Abstract

The sperm head plays a key role in many fertilisation events and determining the precise location of molecules within the head region is important in mechanistically dissecting the fertilisation process. Such molecules may be present in low copy number and many sperm head profiles must be examined to localise them to particular subcellular structures with confidence. Filtration has traditionally been used for the purpose of concentrating biological material, such as free-living cells, spores, and subcellular fractions, and little attempt has been made to extend the procedure to encompass the entire processing schedule, mainly due to the incompatibility of intermediate dehydrating solvents with membrane filters. The novel and simple technique of filtration processing that we describe produced a dense mat of cells, with several sperm heads being visible in coronal orientation in a high-power field at the light microscopic level, and allowed positive immunocytochemical staining to be identified with confidence. This new technique exploits the low viscosity of LR White acrylic resin to allow the entire processing procedure to be undertaken in the filtration apparatus. In contrast, conventional techniques for preparing free-living cells, namely pre-embedding in a supportive matrix prior to processing, and centrifugation at each stage of the processing procedure, proved suboptimal, partly due to the final concentration that could be achieved, but mainly due to the random orientation of cells that these techniques afforded.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Uncontrolled Keywords: Cell embedding; LR White; filtration embedding; sperm head
Publisher: Wiley
ISSN: 0022-2720
Date of Acceptance: 24 October 2016
Last Modified: 23 May 2018 13:16
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/103179

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