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Opt Express. 2012 Nov 19;20(24):26778-85. doi: 10.1364/OE.20.026778.

Internal structure of an intact Convallaria majalis pollen grain observed with X-ray Fresnel coherent diffractive imaging.

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Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron DESY, Hamburg, Germany.


We have applied Fresnel Coherent Diffractive Imaging (FCDI) to image an intact pollen grain from Convallaria majalis. This approach allows us to resolve internal structures without the requirement to chemically treat or slice the sample into thin sections. Coherent X-ray diffraction data from this pollen grain-composed of a hologram and higher resolution scattering information-was collected at a photon energy of 1820 eV and reconstructed using an iterative algorithm. A comparison with images recorded using transmission electron microscopy demonstrates that, while the resolution of these images is limited by the available flux and mechanical stability, we observed structures internal to the pollen grain-the intine/exine separations and pore dimensions-finer than 60 nm. The potential of this technique for further biological imaging applications is discussed.

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