Cell Ultrastructure Imaging using Cryo Soft X-ray Tomography
A cell’s shape and the shape of its internal organelle are seen by Cell Biologists as important influencers of the DNA mutations in genes that can cause cancer.
“Yeast cell at the main stages of cell division. [Prof. Carolyn Larabell, UCSF]”
Soft x-ray imaging is carried out at a wavelength in the so-called ‘water window’ region of the electromagnetic spectrum. This window extends from the K-absorption edge of carbon (4.4 nm wavelength) to the K-edge of Oxygen (2.33 nm wavelength). In this wavelength window, water is transparent to soft x-rays but the carbon-based organic molecules are absorbing. This results in soft x-ray images with a high natural contrast.
“ from Journal of The Royal Society, 2015, publication ‘Three-dimensional imaging of human stem cells using soft X-ray tomography’, by J.C. Niclis”
Image Correlation Capability
Combining density-based organelle image analysis with gold nanoparticle labelling of specific surface proteins allows single visualization of the localization and abundance of specific proteins relative to the localization of individual organelle.
“from Journal of Cellular Biochemistry, 2014, ‘Putting molecules in their place’, by Bertrand P. Cinquin.”
Correlation of cryogenic fluorescence tomography (CFT) with soft x-ray tomography (SXT).
A: CFT image, B: SXT image, C = correlated image
The correlation of complementary imaging data, taken from the same specimen is a powerful technique, providing precise molecular localization (CFT) within a high-resolution 3D image of the whole cell structure (SXT).