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arrow14Imaging Wet Cells - Bridging The Gap Between Light and Electron Microscopy

WETSEM® Application

The need to dehydrate and prepare samples before imaging in an electron microscope has long been a serious limitation for cell biology research. Biological specimens are hydrated in their natural state, but current methods of imaging these specimens under high resolution require dehydration and extensive preparation. On the other hand, samples can be viewed in their native state in light microscopes, but those are limited to low resolution viewing. QuantomiX proprietary WETSEM® technology brings together the immediate viewing capabilities of light microscopes and the high resolution capacity of electron microscopy, and provides an ideal solution for high resolution imaging of fully wet cells.

Viewing Wet Samples in Their Native State with WETSEM® Technology

The solution offered by WETSEM® technology enables high-resolution imaging of samples without lengthy preparation and with no dehydration artifacts. The QX capsules, based on WETSEM® technology, are used for holding biological samples in the electron microscope. The samples are kept in a sealed, vacuumresistant capsule during the imaging process. This method has been used successfully for many types of biological samples, including nonadherent cells, and has enabled the collection of valuable information.

Fig 1.Mitochondria visualization in C2C12 cells that were fixed and stained with 2% PTA. Mitochondria are easily identified. Their pleomorphic forms and structural variations are clearly seen.

Fig 2. HeLa cells cultured in the QX capsule in growth medium, were fixed with paraformaldehyde and stained with uranyl acetate. Cell-cell contact between two neighboring cells as well as fillopodia are clearly visible. Clear marking of fine intracellular cytoskeletal structures is also seen.

Fig 3. Wet mast cells were fixed with 4% paraformaldhyde and 0.125% glutaraldehyde and stained with uranyl acetate. High resolution imaging with WETSEMTM enables visualization of individual secretory granules which appear as dark holes. Some granules show high electron density.

Dr. Y. Satoh, Dept. of Cell Biology and Functional Morphology, Iwate Medical University, School of medicine, Uchimaro, Japan.

Fig 4. Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) labeling of A431 cell. Anti-EGFR antibodies were visualized with 40nm colloidal gold particles. Note the very precise visualization of individual gold beads on the cell surface.This application is suitable for a variety of intracellular and extracellular immunogold labeling.

Dr. J.Schlessinger, Dept. of Pharmacology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Heaven, CT.

Fig 5. Lipid bodies in human white blood cells. After separation, cells were plated on the QX Capsule
membrane. Efficient attachment and spreading of the population of interest were achieved. Fixation and consequent uranyl acetate and osmium staining enhanced visualization of cellular organelles, and highlighted the lipid bodies.

QX Capsules – Empowering Imaging Capabilities


  • High resolution imaging of wet samples
  • Visualization of intra- and extracellular structures
  • Imaging of adherent and non-adherent cells
  • Molecular immunolabeling
  • Minimal sample preparation
  • Artifact-free

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