Navigation Links
Researchers use X-ray diffraction microscope to reveal 3-D internal structure of whole cell
Date:6/15/2010

Three-dimensional imaging is dramatically expanding the ability of researchers to examine biological specimens, enabling a peek into their internal structures. And recent advances in X-ray diffraction methods have helped extend the limit of this approach.

While significant progress has been made in optical microscopy to break the diffraction barrier, such techniques rely on fluorescent labeling technologies, which prohibit the quantitative 3-D imaging of the entire contents of cells. Cryo-electron microscopy can image structures at a resolution of 3 to 5 nanometers, but this only works with thin or sectioned specimens.

And although X-ray protein crystallography is currently the primary method used for determining the 3-D structure of protein molecules, many biological specimens such as whole cells, cellular organelles, some viruses and many important protein molecules are difficult or impossible to crystallize, making their structures inaccessible. Overcoming these limitations requires the employment of different techniques.

Now, in a paper published May 31 in Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences, UCLA researchers and their collaborators demonstrate the use of a unique X-ray diffraction microscope that enabled them to reveal the internal structure of yeast spores. The team reports the quantitative 3-D imaging of a whole, unstained cell at a resolution of 50 to 60 nanometers using X-ray diffraction microscopy, also known as lensless imaging.

Researchers identified the 3-D morphology and structure of cellular organelles, including the cell wall, vacuole, endoplasmic reticulum, mitrochondria, granules and nucleolus. The work may open a door to identifying the individual protein molecules inside whole cells using labeling technologies.

The lead authors on the paper are Huaidong Jiang, a UCLA assistant researcher in physics and astronomy, and John Miao, a UCLA professor of physics and astronomy. The work is a culmination of a collaboration started three years ago with Fuyu Tamanoi, UCLA professor of microbiology, immunology and molecular genetics. Miao and Tamanoi are both researchers at UCLA's California NanoSystems Institute. Other collaborators include teams at Riken Spring 8 in Japan and the Institute of Physics, Academia Sinica, in Taiwan.

"This is the first time that people have been able to peek into the 3-D internal structure of a biological specimen, without cutting it into sections, using X-ray diffraction microscopy," Miao said.

"By avoiding use of X-ray lenses, the resolution of X-ray diffraction microscopy is ultimately limited by radiation damage to biological specimens. Using cryogenic technologies, 3-D imaging of whole biological cells at a resolution of 5 to 10 nanometers should be achievable," Miao said. "Our work hence paves a way for quantitative 3-D imaging of a wide range of biological specimens at nanometer-scale resolutions that are too thick for electron microscopy."

Tamanoi prepared the yeast spore samples analyzed in this study. Spores are specialized cells that are formed when they are placed under nutrient-starved conditions. Cells use this survival strategy to cope with harsh conditions.

"Biologists wanted to examine internal structures of the spore, but previous microscopic studies provided information on only the surface features. We are very excited to be able to view the spore in 3-D", Tamanoi said. "We can now look into the structure of other spores, such as Anthrax spores and many other fungal spores. It is also important to point out that yeast spores are of similar size to many intracellular organelles in human cells. These can be examined in the future."

Since its first experimental demonstration by Miao and collaborators in 1999, coherent diffraction microscopy has been applied to imaging a wide range of materials science and biological specimens, such as nanoparticles, nanocrystals, biomaterials, cells, cellular organelles, viruses and carbon nanotubes using X-ray, electron and laser facilities worldwide. Until now, however, the radiation-damage problem and the difficulty of acquiring high-quality 3-D diffraction patterns from individual whole cells have prevented the successful high-resolution 3-D imaging of biological cells by X-ray diffraction.


'/>"/>

Contact: Jennifer Marcus
jmarcus@cnsi.ucla.edu
310-267-4839
University of California - Los Angeles
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology technology :

1. Researchers discover new properties of Worlds thinnest material
2. Sandia researchers Phillips, Moody named MRS Fellows
3. First Self-Replicating, Synthetic Bacterial Cell Constructed by J. Craig Venter Institute Researchers
4. Investigating how spiders spin their silk, researchers unravel a key step
5. UCLA researchers use new microscope to see atoms for first time
6. NIST researchers holding steady in an atomic-scale tug-of-war
7. Researchers use improved nanogenerators to power sensors based on zinc oxide nanowires
8. Researchers identify a gene that may play a key role in atherosclerosis and other diseases
9. Thomson Reuters Names the Worlds Hottest Researchers
10. Cleveland researchers use natural and artificial sheaths to mend traumatic bone loss
11. MIT researchers discover new way of producing electricity
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/28/2017)... ... ... Supplies of the critical medical isotope molybdenum-99 (Mo-99) are secure and reliable ... and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI) 2017 annual meeting in Denver, Colorado in June. Mo-99 ... million nuclear medicine procedures worldwide every year. (1) , Sally Schwarz, President of ...
(Date:6/27/2017)... ... June 27, 2017 , ... Brain State Technologies, a ... campaign on June 15th to fund production of the new B2v2 wearable brainwave ... Kickstarter goal by more than 150% in a little over a week. , ...
(Date:6/27/2017)... ... June 27, 2017 , ... Indiana-based Xylogenics ... yeast production and fermentation process. The efficiencies created by the newest strain ... most notably the ethanol industry wherein individual production plants are planning to invest ...
(Date:6/26/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Third Wave Bioactives, LLC announces the addition of Brett Thompson. ... business development and ensuring quality customer experience. , Brett brings to Third ... technical, marketing and sales roles. “Brett’s background working with customers and eye for market ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:4/13/2017)... UBM,s Advanced Design and Manufacturing event in ... and evolving technology through its 3D Printing and Smart ... the expo portion of the event and feature a ... on trending topics within 3D printing and smart manufacturing. ... will take place June 13-15, 2017 at the Jacob K. ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... 11, 2017 Research and Markets has announced ... report to their offering. ... global eye tracking market to grow at a CAGR of 30.37% ... Tracking Market 2017-2021, has been prepared based on an in-depth market ... landscape and its growth prospects over the coming years. The report ...
(Date:4/6/2017)... Forecasts by Product Type (EAC), ... End-Use (Transportation & Logistics, Government & Public Sector, Utilities ... Generation Facility, Nuclear Power), Industrial, Retail, Business Organisation (BFSI), ... you looking for a definitive report on the $27.9bn ... ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):