Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Helium raises resolution of whole cell imaging

Date:
October 4, 2011
Source:
Cell Press
Summary:
The ability to obtain an accurate three-dimensional image of an intact cell is critical for unraveling the mysteries of cellular structure and function. However, for many years, tiny structures buried deep inside cells have been practically invisible to scientists due to a lack of microscopic techniques that achieve adequate resolution at the cell surface and through the entire depth of the cell. Now, a new study demonstrates that microscopy with helium ions may greatly enhance both surface and sub-cellular imaging.

The ability to obtain an accurate three-dimensional image of an intact cell is critical for unraveling the mysteries of cellular structure and function. However, for many years, tiny structures buried deep inside cells have been practically invisible to scientists due to a lack of microscopic techniques that achieve adequate resolution at the cell surface and through the entire depth of the cell. Now, a new study published by Cell Press in the October 4th issue of Biophysical Journal demonstrates that microscopy with helium ions may greatly enhance both surface and sub-cellular imaging.

Electron microscopy has been the most commonly used technique for high resolution imaging of sub-cellular structure. An electron microscope uses a beam of electrons to produce a magnified image of a sample. Electrons can achieve a greater resolution than the photons of visible light because they have much shorter wavelengths. However, the electron microscope has limitations. To scan the surface of a biological structure like a cell, the surface must first be coated with an ultrathin layer of electrically conductive metal. When it comes to high resolution of thick samples, the electrons scatter as they penetrate a sample, so, while this type of microscopy is amenable to thin sections, it is not suitable for imaging whole cells.

"In order to get high resolution cell images from any scanning beam microscope, one must be able to produce a sufficiently small probe which maintains its probe size as it penetrates the cell, and measure signals emanating from a localized region within the sample," explains senior study author, Dr. Frank Watt, from the National University of Singapore.

"Microscopy using helium ions may play a major role in both surface and sub-cellular imaging. Slow helium ions can image insulating biological surfaces at sub nanometer resolutions without the need for a metallic conductive coating, and fast helium ions can image the interior of cells without a significant loss of resolution."

Dr. Watt and colleagues used helium ion microscopy to show that fast helium ions maintain a straight path as they pass through a cell and that by measuring the energy loss of each helium ion as it passed through the cell, they could create an image representative of the mass distribution of the cell.

"Helium ion microscopy has high potential for imaging both surface and internal structures in whole cells are resolutions not attainable using other techniques," concludes Dr. Watt. "This work paves the way for the utilization of ions for whole cell investigations at nanometer resolutions."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Cell Press. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Xiao Chen, ChammikaN.B. Udalagama, Ce-Belle Chen, AndrewA. Bettiol, DanielS. Pickard, T. Venkatesan, Frank Watt. Whole-Cell Imaging at Nanometer Resolutions Using Fast and Slow Focused Helium Ions. Biophysical Journal, 2011; 101 (7): 1788 DOI: 10.1016/j.bpj.2011.08.028

Cite This Page:

Cell Press. "Helium raises resolution of whole cell imaging." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 October 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111003131425.htm>.
Cell Press. (2011, October 4). Helium raises resolution of whole cell imaging. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111003131425.htm
Cell Press. "Helium raises resolution of whole cell imaging." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111003131425.htm (accessed October 1, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

US Police Put Body Cameras to the Test

US Police Put Body Cameras to the Test

AFP (Oct. 1, 2014) Police body cameras are gradually being rolled out across the US, with interest surging after the fatal police shooting in August of an unarmed black teenager. Duration: 02:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Argentina's Tax Evaders Detected, Hunted Down by Drones

Argentina's Tax Evaders Detected, Hunted Down by Drones

AFP (Sep. 30, 2014) Argentina doesn't only have Lionel Messi the footballer, it has now also acquired "Mesi" the drone system which monitors undeclared mansions, swimming pools and soy fields to curb tax evasion in the country. Duration: 01:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do Video Games Trump Brain Training For Cognitive Boosts?

Do Video Games Trump Brain Training For Cognitive Boosts?

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) More and more studies are showing positive benefits to playing video games, but the jury is still out on brain training programs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
CERN Celebrates 60 Years of Science

CERN Celebrates 60 Years of Science

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 29, 2014) CERN, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, celebrates 60 years of bringing nations together through science. As Joanna Partridge reports from inside the famous science centre it's also planning to turn the Large Hadron Collider particle accelerator back on after an upgrade. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins