Role of Cryo Soft X ray tomography in Cancer Research

Celebrating World Cancer Day 2023 showcasing role of Soft X-ray Tomography in Cancer research

World Cancer Day is observed worldwide on February 4. The aim is to inform and encourage people on its prevention, early detection, and treatment. Cancer Day began as a global movement organized by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) to increase global awareness, improve education, and encourage personal, communal, and government action. Millions of unnecessary cancer deaths can be avoided if everyone in the world has access to life-saving treatment, care, and prevention.

According to World Health Organisation, Cancer is the world’s second greatest cause of death, accounting for an estimated 9.6 million deaths, or one in every six, in 2018. Men are more likely to get lung, prostate, colorectal, stomach, and liver cancers, whereas women are more likely to develop breast, colorectal, lung, cervical, and thyroid cancers.

The number and sophistication of biomedical imaging techniques available to study cancer, its drugs and therapies have exploded over the past two decades. Nanoparticles are increasingly being used to enhance the bioavailability of a variety of medications, vaccines, adjuvants, and other substances in specific areas within a cell. Targeting a site within the cell nucleus is difficult because the nanoparticle must first enter the cell cytoplasm and then pass through the nuclear membrane.

Soft x-ray tomography (SXT) is proving a very valuable tool to help validate nanoparticles reach their targeted sites within the ultrastructure of a cell. SXT is a 3D technology with a spatial resolution of a few tens of nanometers. SXT fills the gap between diffraction-limited 3D fluorescence images and high-resolution SEM images.

Combining SXT with other imaging techniques not only yields extensive information on the researched cells and nanomaterials, but also allows for the identification of each imaging technique’s restrictions and potential artefacts.

The paper mentioned here, published in Biotechnology Journal in 2020 has used SXT with multimodal imaging techniques to examine the absorption of fluorescent nanodiamonds (FNDs) in PC3 cancer cells.

Source: Image from referred paper

Image: A, B) Cryogenic soft X-ray tomography (SXT) imaging of PC3 cells incubated with nanodiamonds and C, D) untreated reference cells. A, C) Overlay of fluorescence signals from a lysosome marker (lysotracker, red) and mosaics of 2D projections of SXT images (grey). The grid on which cells were grown can be seen in the background (array of circles). Dotted blue rectangles identify areas, where the tomogram tilt series were acquired. B, D) Virtual section of reconstructed 3D SXT of the areas indicated in panels (A) and (C). Black arrows identify important cellular structures like mitochondria and membranes as well as vesicles containing nanodiamonds.

Read the full paper here:

Multimodal Imaging and Soft X-Ray Tomography of Fluorescent Nanodiamonds in Cancer Cells

Philipp Reineck,* Amanda N. Abraham, Arpita Poddar, Ravi Shukla, Hiroshi Abe, Takeshi Ohshima, Brant C. Gibson, Chaitali Dekiwadia, José J. Conesa, Eva Pereiro, Amy Gelmi, and Gary Bryant, Biotechnology Journal 2020