To gain insight into motile processes driven by actin we have developed a procedure to correlate movement in living cells recorded in the light microscope with the structure of the same cells in the electron microscope. Different methods have also been employed to visualize cells in the electron microscope, including cryo-electron microscopy. This section gives a brief insight into the techniques used.
The cytoskeleton is rapidly fixed using aldehydes to cross-link proteins together with a detergent to remove the cell membrane.
Immersion freezing is the method of choice to prepare intact cells or cytoskeletons embedded in vitrified water for cryo-electron tomography.
To relate structure to function we record how a cell was moving at the instant of fixation for electron microscopy.