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A Guide to Fracture Label: Cytochemical Labeling of Freeze-Fractured Cells

  • Pedro Pinto da Silva
  • M. L. F. Barbosa
  • A. P. Aguas

Abstract

Freeze etching of biological specimens was devised to observe platinum/ carbon (Pt/C) casts of virus crystals frozen and crushed at low temperature (Steere 1957). The method was perfected by Moor and co-workers (1961), who modified high-vacuum equipment to allow “cutting” of specimens at controlled temperatures and at the low pressure required to obtain Pt/C replicas of high resolution. As designed by Moor and coworkers (1961), the freeze-etching apparatus was envisaged as a “freezing ultramicrotome” that produced a cut face of a frozen preparation. “Cutting” was followed by a period of sublimation (“etching”) thought necessary to reveal details of the microanatomy of cells (Moor et al. 1961; Moor and Mühlethaler 1963; Branton and Moor 1964). The first “freeze-fracture’ study was performed by Branton (1966), paradoxically still called “freeze etching” with “no etching.” For years, many researchers kept on submitting their freeze-frac-tured preparations to a period of “etching.” This procedure failed to reveal additional details because the specimens were impregnated in glycerol.

Keywords

Colloidal Gold Wheat Germ Agglutinin Freeze Fracture Boar Sperm Cell BioI 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pedro Pinto da Silva
  • M. L. F. Barbosa
  • A. P. Aguas

There are no affiliations available

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