Correlative Light and Electron Microscopy
One major development is focused on the development and application of correlative light and electron microscopy (CLEM), in which biological samples are imaged by both light and electron microscopy.
During the last few years, we developed specialized equipment for CLEM, including an integrated light and electron microscope, a cryo light microscopy stage for imaging of vitrified samples at cryogenic temperatures (together with Linkam), and a super-resolution cryo-light microscopy setup. We also develop specific software and dedicated workflows for CLEM.
Viruses are intracellular parasites that hijack cellular pathways and resources in fascinating ways. Positive-stranded RNA viruses like MERS-coronavirus take control of specific intracellular membranes and remodel them into specialized viral replication organelle structures that support the process of RNA synthesis, required to replicate the viral genome.
Understanding their structure at a molecular level and the host-virus interplay involved in their biogenesis and function can pave the way to the development of novel anti-viral strategies against these rapidly evolving viruses. We focus on the replication of nidoviruses (coronaviruses and arteriviruses) and picornaviruses. Our experimental approach combines classical electron microscopy techniques with advanced methods like (cryo)electron tomography, 3D-SEM, and correlative light and electron microscopy.