Studying bone using electron microscopy: new insights with new methods?

University of Aberdeen

Past award

Student: Aiden Seeley : University of Aberdeen

Year Award Started: 2013

Electron Microscopy is a method by which microscopical details of tissues and the individual cells that make up these tissues can be seen. While light microscopes can magnify such details by up to a thousand times, electron microscopes can magnify up to hundreds of thousands of times. In this project we will use two new methods to study bone tissue in the electron microscope: a method to freeze tissue under high pressure and then study very thin sections of that tissue to look inside the bone cells and a method to study the holes within bone by filling these with resin and imaging the “casts” that are created. We will use mouse bone to optimise the methods and then apply these to the study of bone obtained from patients with bone disease, such as osteoarthritis and osteoporosis. We aim to get new knowledge about the microanatomy of this bone using these methods while the student will gain in-depth knowledge of bone tissue including in bone disease.


Research area: Musculoskeletal conditions


Professor Miep Helfrich
Institute of Medical Sciences