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Trypanosoma brucei is a unicellular parasite causing African sleeping sickness in cattle and humans. Due to the ease with which these cells can be cultured and genetically manipulated, it has emerged as a model organism for the kinetoplastids.In this chapter we describe the preparation of T. brucei for transmission electron microscopy. A thorough explanation of conventional sample preparation through chemical fixation of whole cells and detergent extracted cytoskeletons followed by dehydration and Epon embedding is given. We also introduce a novel high-pressure freezing protocol, which followed by rapid freeze substitution and HM20 embedding generates T. brucei samples displaying good cell morphology, which are suitable for immunocytochemistry.

Original publication




Journal article


Methods Cell Biol

Publication Date





175 - 196


Animals, Cattle, Cell Culture Techniques, Cytoskeleton, Freeze Substitution, Histological Techniques, Humans, Immunohistochemistry, Microscopy, Electron, Transmission, Staining and Labeling, Trypanosoma brucei brucei