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Low-dose three-dimensional hard x-ray imaging of bacterial cells

Matthias Bartels1*, Marius Priebe1, Robin N Wilke1, Sven P Krüger1, Klaus Giewekemeyer1, Sebastian Kalbfleisch1, Christian Olendrowitz1, Michael Sprung2 and Tim Salditt1*

Author Affiliations

1 Institut für Röntgenphysik, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Friedrich-Hund-Platz 1, 37077 Göttingen, Germany

2 HASYLAB at DESY, Notkestr. 85, 22607 Hamburg, Germany

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Optical Nanoscopy 2012, 1:10  doi:10.1186/2192-2853-1-10

Published: 30 November 2012


We have imaged the three-dimensional density distribution of unstained and unsliced, freeze-dried cells of the gram-positive bacterium Deinococcus radiodurans by tomographic x-ray propagation microscopy, i.e. projection tomography with phase contrast formation by free space propagation. The work extends previous x-ray imaging of biological cells in the simple in-line holography geometry to full three-dimensional reconstruction, based on a fast iterative phase reconstruction algorithm which circumvents the usual twin-image problem. The sample is illuminated by the highly curved wave fronts emitted from a virtual quasi-point source with 10 nm cross section, realized by two crossed x-ray waveguides. The experimental scheme allows for a particularly dose efficient determination of the 3D density distribution in the cellular structure.

X-ray optics; X-ray waveguides; Synchrotron radiation instrumentation; Phase contrast; Phase retrieval; Tomography