Richard Schalek

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We describe automated technologies to probe the structure of neural tissue at nanometer resolution and use them to generate a saturated reconstruction of a sub-volume of mouse neocortex in which all cellular objects (axons, dendrites, and glia) and many sub-cellular components (synapses, synaptic vesicles, spines, spine apparati, postsynaptic densities, and(More)
VIDEO ABSTRACT Using light and serial electron microscopy, we show profound refinements in motor axonal branching and synaptic connectivity before and after birth. Embryonic axons become maximally connected just before birth when they innervate ∼10-fold more muscle fibers than in maturity. In some developing muscles, axons innervate almost every muscle(More)
Cryo-electron microscopy can provide high-resolution structural information about cells and organelles in the nearly native, frozen-hydrated state. Applicability, however, is limited by difficulties encountered in preparing suitably thin, vitreously frozen biological specimens. We demonstrate, by cryo-electron tomography of Escherichia coli cells, that a(More)
Recent studies have shown that machine learning can improve the accuracy of detecting object boundaries in images. In the standard approach, a boundary detector is trained by minimizing its pixel-level disagreement with human boundary tracings. This naive metric is problematic because it is overly sensitive to boundary locations. This problem is solved by(More)
The automated tape-collecting ultramicrotome (ATUM) makes it possible to collect large numbers of ultrathin sections quickly-the equivalent of a petabyte of high resolution images each day. However, even high throughput image acquisition strategies generate images far more slowly (at present ~1 terabyte per day). We therefore developed WaferMapper, a(More)
Conventional heavy metal poststaining methods on thin sections lend contrast but often cause contamination. To avoid this problem, we tested several en bloc staining techniques to contrast tissue in serial sections mounted on solid substrates for examination by field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM). Because FESEM section imaging requires that(More)
The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) often forms stacked membrane sheets, an arrangement that is likely required to accommodate a maximum of membrane-bound polysomes for secretory protein synthesis. How sheets are stacked is unknown. Here, we used improved staining and automated ultrathin sectioning electron microscopy methods to analyze stacked ER sheets in(More)
Electron-electron interactions and detector bandwidth limit the maximal imaging speed of single-beam scanning electron microscopes. We use multiple electron beams in a single column and detect secondary electrons in parallel to increase the imaging speed by close to two orders of magnitude and demonstrate imaging for a variety of samples ranging from(More)
This paper describes the use of several methods of template stripping (TS) to produce ultraflat films of silver, gold, palladium, and platinum on both rigid and polymeric mechanical supports: a composite of glass and ultraviolet (UV)-curable adhesive (optical adhesive, OA), solder, a composite of poly(dimethyl siloxane) (PDMS) and OA, and bare OA. Silicon(More)
Correlative light and electron microscopy promises to combine molecular specificity with nanoscale imaging resolution. However, there are substantial technical challenges including reliable co-registration of optical and electron images, and rapid optical signal degradation under electron beam irradiation. Here, we introduce a new approach to solve these(More)