freeze-fracture electron microscopy


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freeze-fracture electron microscopy

[¦frēz‚frak·chər i‚lek‚trän mi′kräs·kə·pē]
(cell and molecular biology)
A technique used to visualize the inside of cellular membranes. Rapidly frozen cells are ruptured (fractured) so as to split open the membrane and expose the interior surfaces. A thin layer of carbon together with a metal (usually platinum) is then evaporated over the specimen to produce a replica of the surface, which is removed and examined in the electron microscope.