Soft X-Ray Diffraction Microscopy of a Frozen Hydrated Yeast Cell

Xiaojing Huang*, Johanna Nelson, Janos Kirz, Enju Lima, Stefano Marchesini, Huijie Miao, Aaron M. Neiman, David Shapiro, Jan Steinbrener, Andrew Stewart, Joshua J. Turner, Chris Jacobsen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

103 Scopus citations


We report the first image of an intact, frozen hydrated eukaryotic cell using x-ray diffraction microscopy, or coherent x-ray diffraction imaging. By plunge freezing the specimen in liquid ethane and maintaining it below -170°C, artifacts due to dehydration, ice crystallization, and radiation damage are greatly reduced. In this example, coherent diffraction data using 520 eV x rays were recorded and reconstructed to reveal a budding yeast cell at a resolution better than 25nm. This demonstration represents an important step towards high resolution imaging of cells in their natural, hydrated state, without limitations imposed by x-ray optics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number198101
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number19
StatePublished - Nov 5 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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