Array tomography: 15 years of synaptic analysis

Anna Sanchez Avila (Lead / Corresponding author), Christopher M. Henstridge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
39 Downloads (Pure)


Synapses are minuscule, intricate structures crucial for the correct communication between neurons. In the 125 years since the term synapse was first coined, we have advanced a long way when it comes to our understanding of how they work and what they do.Most of the fundamental discoveries have been invariably linked to advances in technology. However, due to their size, delicate structural integrity and their sheer number, our knowledge of synaptic biology has remained somewhat elusive and their role in neurodegenerative diseases still remains largely unknown. Here, we briefly discuss some of the imaging technologies used to study synapses and focus on the utility of the high-resolution imaging technique array tomography (AT). We introduce the AT technique and highlight some of the ways it is utilised with a particular focus on its power for analysing synaptic composition and pathology in human post-mortem tissue. We also discuss some of the benefits and drawbacks of techniques for imaging synapses and highlight some recent advances in the study of form and function by combining physiology and high-resolution synaptic imaging.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberNS20220013
Number of pages10
JournalNeuronal Signaling
Issue number3
Early online date6 Sept 2022
Publication statusPublished - 23 Sept 2022


  • ALS
  • array tomography
  • brain
  • synapses


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