Development of a novel fixation method for mitochondria

Thumbnail Image

Persistent link to this item

View Statistics

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Development of a novel fixation method for mitochondria

Published Date






At biological pH, isolated mitochondria carry a negative charge on their surface as a result of the chemical composition of the ionizable groups on their surface. Capillary Electrophoresis with Laser Induced Fluorescence Detection (CE-LIF) has been shown to separate and detect fluorescently labeled individual mitochondria based on their electrophoretic properties. This technology has been used to provide insights into the role of mitochondria in aging and disease. A problem exists, however, with the stability of isolated mitochondria. CE-LIF analysis of mitochondria must be done within a few hours after the sample preparation. Otherwise, the electrophoretic properties of a mitochondrial preparation begin to change. This prevents collaboration among laboratories and limits the number of tests that can be done on a given mitochondrial preparation. Here, I present a method for stabilizing mitochondria using formaldehyde, a reagent commonly used for cell and tissue preservation. In this project I explore the effects of formaldehyde treatment on stabilizing the electrophoretic properties of isolated mitochondria. Isolated mitochondria from L6 cells are treated with 4% formaldehyde and the distributions of the electrophoretic mobility are measured using CE-LIF and compared to those obtained from untreated mitochondria samples. If successful, stable samples of mitochondria will allow long-term storage and transportation of mitochondria, which will lead to advancements in the fields of mitochondrial research and particle separation by CE-LIF.


Faculty adviser: Dr. Edgar Arriaga

Related to



Series/Report Number

Funding information

This research was supported by the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP).

Isbn identifier

Doi identifier

Previously Published Citation

Suggested citation

Doenges, Jack; Kostal, Vratislav. (2011). Development of a novel fixation method for mitochondria. Retrieved from the University Digital Conservancy,

Content distributed via the University Digital Conservancy may be subject to additional license and use restrictions applied by the depositor. By using these files, users agree to the Terms of Use. Materials in the UDC may contain content that is disturbing and/or harmful. For more information, please see our statement on harmful content in digital repositories.