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Biomed Opt Express. 2017 Nov 30;8(12):5825-5833. doi: 10.1364/BOE.8.005825. eCollection 2017 Dec 1.

Periodic microstructures of blood capillaries revealed by synchrotron X-ray multi-resolution microscopic analysis.

Yao S1,2, Zong Y3,4,2, Huang X5, Liu Y1,3, Gong N6,7, Zhang J1,3, Li Z3, Cao F5, Wang X4, Liang XJ6,7, Jiang H1,3.

Author information

School of Physical Science and Technology, ShanghaiTech University, Shanghai 201210, China.
These authors contributed equally to this paper.
State Key Laboratory of Crystal Materials, Shandong University, Jinan 250100, China.
Department of Data and Business Analysis Product, Inspur International Ltd., Jinan 250101, China.
Department of Cardiology, Chinese PLA General Hospital, Beijing 100853, China.
Laboratory of Controllable Nanopharmaceuticals, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) Center for Excellence in Nanoscience; and CAS Key Laboratory for Biomedical Effects of Nanomaterials and Nanosafety, National Center for Nanoscience and Technology of China, No. 11, First North Road Zhongguangcun, Beijing 100190, China.
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China.


Cardiovascular diseases are closely related to structural blood capillaries lesions. Herein, microscopic investigations of mouse blood capillaries were performed at multiple spatial resolution by using synchrotron X-ray in-line phase contrast tomography and scanning transmission X-ray microscopy (STXM). The chemically fixed blood capillaries without any contrast agents were selected. For the first time, a periodic bamboo-shaped structure was observed at nanoscale resolution by STXM, and the three-dimensional tomographic slices at sub-micrometer resolution further confirmed the periodic wave profile of the blood capillaries. Then, a periodic microstructural model was suggested based on the microscopic images. By using high-performance imaging techniques, this work provides a better understanding of the relationship between the structure and function of blood capillaries, will be helpful in elucidating the causes of cardiovascular system diseases.


(110.6955) Tomographic imaging; (170.0180) Microscopy; (170.3880) Medical and biological imaging; (170.7440) X-ray imaging; (180.7460) X-ray microscopy

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare that there are no conflicts of interest related to this article.

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