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Phys Med Biol. 2012 Aug 21;57(16):5309-23. doi: 10.1088/0031-9155/57/16/5309. Epub 2012 Aug 1.

Phase-contrast x-ray imaging and tomography of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.

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  • 1Institut für Röntgenphysik, Universität Göttingen, Friedrich-Hund-Platz 1, 37077 Göttingen, Germany.


We have analyzed the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans with the help of phase-contrast x-ray tomography. This work combines techniques from x-ray imaging studies of single biological cells by in-line holography with three-dimensional reconstruction and furthermore extends these studies to the multicellular level. To preserve the sub-cellular ultrastructure of the nematodes, we used the near-native sample preparation of high-pressure freezing as commonly used in the field of electron microscopy. For the presented samples, a standard, non-magnifying parallel-beam setting, as well as a magnifying, divergent-beam setting using nanofocusing optics is evaluated based on their tomographic reconstruction potential. In this paper, we address difficulties in sample preparation and issues of image processing. By experimental refinement and through optimized reconstruction procedures, we were able to perform x-ray imaging studies on a living specimen.

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