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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010 Apr 20;107(16):7235-9. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0910874107. Epub 2010 Apr 5.

High-resolution x-ray diffraction microscopy of specifically labeled yeast cells.

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  • 1Department of Physics and Astronomy, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY 11794-3800, USA.


X-ray diffraction microscopy complements other x-ray microscopy methods by being free of lens-imposed radiation dose and resolution limits, and it allows for high-resolution imaging of biological specimens too thick to be viewed by electron microscopy. We report here the highest resolution (11-13 nm) x-ray diffraction micrograph of biological specimens, and a demonstration of molecular-specific gold labeling at different depths within cells via through-focus propagation of the reconstructed wavefield. The lectin concanavalin A conjugated to colloidal gold particles was used to label the alpha-mannan sugar in the cell wall of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Cells were plunge-frozen in liquid ethane and freeze-dried, after which they were imaged whole using x-ray diffraction microscopy at 750 eV photon energy.

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