Tech Talk - Digging deeper into cellular mechanisms with micropatterning and cryo-ET

Date: December 9, 2020

Speakers: Drs. Pierre-Olivier Strale, Leeya Engel, Matthijn Vos, and Léa Swistak, PhD Student

In this tech talk (replay from Cell Bio 2020), we first present how the PRIMO maskless micropatterning system allows users to generate custom and specific in vitro cell microenvironments – at the subcellular scale – tailored to each specific cell type and study. The custom printing of biomolecules on any cell culture substrate (stiff or soft, flat or microstructured) provides control over cell shape, polarity and location, and the ability to mimic in vivo phenotype. Thus, PRIMO presents a powerful tool for different fields of biology research, such as mechanobiology, disease modeling, immunology and more recently for cryo-electron tomography (cryo-ET).
In the second part of the talk, Dr Leeya Engel (PostDoc in Alex Dunn’s lab, Stanford University), Dr Matthijn Vos (Head NanoImaging Core Facility, Institut Pasteur) and Léa Swistak (PhD student in Jost Enninga’s lab, Institut Pasteur) present recent advances in the field of whole-cell cryo-ET and how it facilitates unrivalled molecular insights on intra-cellular organization of cells. They also emphasize how integrating micropatterning into cellular sample preparation for cryo-ET (i.e., plunge freezing, correlative light microscopy, cryo-FIB lamella milling) improves their throughput and efficiency, thanks to precise cell positioning and optimized cell spreading.
Watch this talk to see how micropatterning and cryo-ET can accelerate research breakthroughs on what really goes on in the cellular machinery at the molecular scale!