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Quantitative ultrastructural analysis in cardiac membrane physiology.

. Am J Physiol 235 (5): C147--C158 (November 1978)

Abstract

Quantitative measurements on electron micrographs of heart muscle can yield information useful for cellular physiologists and at present not obtainable in other ways. These methods are subject to preparative artifact, sampling problems, and problems inherent in the mathematical description of ultrastructure. Nevertheless they provide the best available data for membrane areas of the plasmalemma and its components, as well as for membrane areas of the sarcoplasmic reticulum and mitochondria. Morphometric methods can be used to study growth of membranes. Changes in the volumes of intracellular membrane-limited subcompartments can also be measured. Quantitative analysis of freeze-fractured membrane replicas can be carried out either by a statistical approach or by optical diffraction. In this way, physiological perturbations or developmental events leading to changes in membrane permeability can be studied for correlated changes in membrane structure.

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