Scanning electron microscopy of cell surface morphology

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


The surface of metazoan cells is a landscape not clearly visualized by light microscopy. Many cells elaborate protrusive structures such as microvilli, filopodia, lamellipodia, and surface ruffles that play important roles in the interaction between the cell and its environment. The high resolution of scanning electron microscopy makes it an ideal technique for studies of the cell surface; however, preservation of fine surface structure can be problematic. Here we highlight the critical factors in sample preparation to ensure optimal high-resolution imaging of the surface of mammalian cells and tissues.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)Unit4.17
JournalCurrent Protocols in Cell Biology
VolumeChapter 4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2007

Bibliographical note

(c) 2007 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.


  • Animals
  • Cell Communication
  • Cell Surface Extensions
  • Epithelial Cells
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Microvilli
  • Pseudopodia
  • Tissue Preservation


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