Ua-zero as a uranyl acetate replacement when diagnosing primary ciliary dyskinesia by transmission electron microscopy

Andreia Lucia Pinto, Ranjit Kaur Rai, Amelia Shoemark, Claire Hogg, Thomas Burgoyne (Lead / Corresponding author)

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Abstract

Primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD) is a disorder affecting motile cilia. An early accurate diagnosis helps prevent lung damage and preserve lung function. To make a diagnostic assessment, one of the commonly used methods that allows for the examination of ciliary ultrastructure is transmission electron microscopy (TEM). This allows for a quantitative assessment of ciliary components to identify defects associated with PCD. Heavy metal staining is required to provide a contrast when imaging cilia in the TEM. One of the most commonly used stains is uranyl acetate (UA). UA can be applied to cellular material before embedding (en bloc), or to ultrathin sections of embedded samples (grid staining). UA is radioactive and, due to growing safety concerns and restrictions by government bodies, universities and hospitals, it is essential to find a suitable alternative. We show UA-zero (UAZ), when used en bloc, provides a high contrast and is a suitable replacement for UA. PCD diagnostic experts, having reviewed ciliary cross-sections stained with UAZ en bloc, are confident that the staining and PCD defects are readily detectable similar to samples that have been stained with UA.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1063
Number of pages9
JournalDiagnostics
Volume11
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jun 2021

Keywords

  • Diagnosis
  • Electron microscopy
  • Primary ciliary dyskinesia
  • Uranyl acetate

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