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Coherent X-ray diffraction from collagenous soft tissues

de la Cuesta, FB; Wenger, MPE; Bean, RJ; Bozec, L; Horton, MA; Robinson, IK; (2009) Coherent X-ray diffraction from collagenous soft tissues. P NATL ACAD SCI USA , 106 (36) 15297 - 15301. 10.1073/pnas.0905151106.

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Abstract

Coherent X-ray diffraction has been applied in the imaging of inorganic materials with great success. However, its application to biological specimens has been limited to some notable exceptions, due to the induced radiation damage and the extended nature of biological samples, the last limiting the application of most part of the phasing algorithms. X-ray ptychography, still under development, is a good candidate to overcome such difficulties and become a powerful imaging method for biology. We describe herein the feasibility of applying ptychography to the imaging of biological specimens, in particular collagen rich samples. We report here speckles in diffraction patterns from soft animal tissue, obtained with an optimized small angle X-ray setup that exploits the natural coherence of the beam. By phasing these patterns, dark field images of collagen within tendon, skin, bone, or cornea will eventually be obtained with a resolution of 60-70 nm. We present simulations of the contrast mechanism in collagen based on atomic force microscope images of the samples. Simulations confirmed the 'speckled' nature of the obtained diffraction patterns. Once inverted, the patterns will show the disposition and orientation of the fibers within the tissue, by enhancing the phase contrast between protein and no protein regions of the sample. Our work affords the application of the most innovative coherent X-ray diffraction tools to the study of biological specimens, and this approach will have a significant impact in biology and medicine because it overcomes many of the limits of current microscopy techniques.

Type: Article
Title: Coherent X-ray diffraction from collagenous soft tissues
DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0905151106
Keywords: biomaterials, dark field imaging, ptychography, collagen, ATOMIC-FORCE MICROSCOPY, PHASE RETRIEVAL, BONE, BIOMATERIALS, MOLECULES, FIBRILS, LIMITATIONS, NANOSCALE, PACKING
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Eastman Dental Institute
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > London Centre for Nanotechnology
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/111763
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