Histochemistry and Cell Biology

, Volume 150, Issue 5, pp 521–527 | Cite as

Visualization of internal in situ cell structure by atomic force microscopy

  • María L. Segura-Valdez
  • Lourdes T. Agredano-Moreno
  • Alma L. Zamora-Cura
  • Reyna Lara-Martínez
  • Luis F. Jiménez-GarcíaEmail author


Light and electron microscopy have been used to study cell structure for many years, but atomic force microscopy is a more recent technique used to analyze cells, mainly due to the absence of techniques to prepare the samples. Isolated molecules or organelles, whole cells, and to a lesser extent in situ cell structure have been observed by different atomic force microscopy imaging modes. Here, we review efforts intended to analyze in situ the cell structures using approaches involving imaging of the surface of semithin sections of samples embedded in resin and sections prepared with an ultramicrotome. The results of such studies are discussed in relation to their implications to analyze the fine structure of organelles at the nanoscale in situ at enhanced resolution compared to light microscopy.


Atomic force microscopy Cell Nucleus Nucleolus RNA Ultramicrotome 



Support of PAPIIT-DGAPA-UNAM IN217917 and PAPIME PE213916 is acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Cell Biology, Faculty of SciencesNational Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM)Mexico CityMexico

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