critical point drying
A method for preparing specimens for the scanning electron microscope that avoids the problems of shrinkage caused by normal drying procedures. Water in the specimen is replaced by an intermediate fluid, for example liquid carbon dioxide, avoiding setting up a liquid/gas interface, and then the second fluid is allowed to vaporise by raising the temperature above the critical point, the temperature at which the liquid state no longer occurs.

Dictionary of molecular biology. 2004.

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