Immunofluorescence Microscopy (i.e. fixed cells or tissue sections)
Immunofluorescence involves microscopical analysis of cells and paraffin-embedded or frozen tissue sections. Samples are fixed (usually with formaldehyde) to preserve the phenotype and permeabilized to allow fluorescently-labelled antibodies access to the internal antigens. Use of a fluorescent DNA probe allows counterstaining and therefore location of individual cells, segmentation of their nuclei and total cell enumeration.
Non-adherent cells, micro-tissues or motile organisms may require immobilisation to permit reliable and high-performance imaging of structures and changes.