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The advancement of serial cryoFIB/SEM offers an opportunity to study large volumes of near-native, fully hydrated frozen cells and tissues at voxel sizes of 10 nm and below. We explored this capability for pathologic characterization of vitrified human patient cells by developing and optimizing a serial cryoFIB/SEM volume imaging workflow. We demonstrate profound disruption of subcellular architecture in primary fibroblasts from a Leigh syndrome patient harboring a disease-causing mutation in USMG5 protein responsible for impaired mitochondrial energy production.

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CryoFIB/SEM, CryoSEM, Leigh syndrome, USMG5, block face, mitochondria disease, volume imaging