Cryo scanning electron microscopy of Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    Plasmodium falciparum invades erythrocytes as an essential part of their life cycle. While living inside erythrocytes, the parasite remodels the cell's intracellular organization as well as its outer surface. Late trophozoite-stage parasites and schizonts introduce numerous small protrusions on the erythrocyte surface, called knobs. Current methods for studying these knobs include atomic force microscopy and electron microscopy. Standard electron microscopy methods rely on chemical fixation and dehydration modifying cell size. Here, a novel method is presented using rapid freezing and scanning electron microscopy under cryogenic conditions allowing for high resolution and magnification of erythrocytes. This novel technique can be used for precise estimates of knob density and for studies on cytoadhesion.
    Original languageEnglish
    Issue number7
    Pages (from-to)650-654
    Number of pages5
    Publication statusPublished - 2017


    • Plasmodium falciparum
    • Scanning electron microscopy
    • Knobs
    • Plunge freezing

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