Leapman RD (2004) Novel techniques in electron microscopy. Curr Opin Neurobiol 14:591–598
Emerging techniques in electron microscopy promise to yield a wide range of new information about the nervous system. Aided by the development of detectors, electron optics, energy filters, computer automation and preparative methods, electron tomography now provides three-dimensional structures over a scale ranging from single receptor molecules to synapses and neurons. To relate structure to function, a variety of correlative methods are being developed, including protein tags observable both by light microscopy of living cells and, subsequently, by electron microscopy. It is also becoming possible to measure functionally important ions like Ca(2+) in cellular compartments at a scale of about 10 nm by exploiting new advances in electron energy loss and X-ray spectroscopic imaging.