”Viral diseases are not only an important cause of mortality, they also carry a significant social and economic cost to humanity.
An analysis of three-dimensional biological cell samples is critical to understand the mechanisms of viral disease and for the development of novel therapeutics. Soft x-ray microscopy (SXM) is a unique technology that can image whole intact cells in 3D under normal and pathological conditions without labelling or fixation, with high throughput and spatial resolution [7–9]. The main challenge of SXM is that the photonic illumination required for imaging is currently only available at five football-stadium sized facilities, called synchrotrons , and only a tiny fraction of the infectious disease research community has been able to access this imaging modality.
The new European Union Horizon 2020 project called CoCID, the ‘Compact Cell Imaging Device,’ which started in January 2021, proposes to address this challenge by the development of lab-scale SXM for fast and inexpensive three-dimensional imaging of whole cells that can readily be performed in a laboratory.