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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2005 Oct 25;102(43):15343-6. Epub 2005 Oct 11.

Biological imaging by soft x-ray diffraction microscopy.

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


We have used the method of x-ray diffraction microscopy to image the complex-valued exit wave of an intact and unstained yeast cell. The images of the freeze-dried cell, obtained by using 750-eV x-rays from different angular orientations, portray several of the cell's major internal components to 30-nm resolution. The good agreement among the independently recovered structures demonstrates the accuracy of the imaging technique. To obtain the best possible reconstructions, we have implemented procedures for handling noisy and incomplete diffraction data, and we propose a method for determining the reconstructed resolution. This work represents a previously uncharacterized application of x-ray diffraction microscopy to a specimen of this complexity and provides confidence in the feasibility of the ultimate goal of imaging biological specimens at 10-nm resolution in three dimensions.

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