Diamond Light Source Partners with Xradia on First Lab-to-Synchrotron Solution for Cryo Transmission X-ray Imaging of Biological Cells

October 27, 2016

Diamond Light Source Partners with Xradia on First Lab-to-Synchrotron Solution for Cryo Transmission X-ray Imaging of Biological Cells

PLEASANTON, CA, October 4, 2011 – Diamond Light Source, the UK’s national synchrotron facility, has chosen Xradia’s UltraXRM-S/L220c for use in its Cryo Transmission X-ray Microscope (Cryo-TXM) imaging initiatives. Diamond will initially implement the UltraXRM-S/L220c with a laboratory-based source while working with Xradia and leading scientists to refine and advance the workflow associated with high resolution 3D X-ray imaging for biological samples, prior to moving the microscope to the synchrotron in 2014.

As part of Phase III, Diamond Light Source is constructing a soft X-ray cryo tomography beamline designed to enable the collection of tomographic series of vitrified biological cells.3D X-ray imaging of biological cells under cryogenic conditions complements existing techniques by providing structural information at a resolution superior to that of fluorescence light microscopy with thicker, unstained and unsectioned samples than those required for techniques such as cryo-transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Diamond’s Cryo-TXM beamline will operate at soft X-ray energies in the region termed the “water window,” where the natural contrast between the vitreous ice surrounding a frozen cell and its carbon-containing structures is highly conducive to imaging.

Diamond, which is located on the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus in Oxfordshire, will be the first installation in the world of a water window-based system with a laboratory source that will then migrate to the synchrotron to provide full-field cryogenic X-ray imaging of cellular samples.

“Combining X-ray imaging with cryogenic sample preparation brings researchers as close as possible to studying cells in their natural state,” says Liz Duke, PhD., Principal Beamline Scientist. “Xradia has already demonstrated relevant success in producing a full tomogram of frozen hydrated yeast cells. Collaborating with Xradia will yield advantages in terms of both imaging technology and scientific innovation.”

Along with its unique capability to migrate from a lab-based environment to a synchrotron beamline, the UltraXRM-S/L220c employs Xradia’s industry-leading capillary and phase contrast optics. Upon migration to the synchrotron, the opportunity will arise to develop phase contrast techniques using harder X-rays outside the water window on the same instrument, thus enabling larger samples to be studied.

“Along with making X-ray imaging resources available to cellular biologists as quickly as possible, Diamond Light Source has demonstrated great commitment to working with scientists to refine techniques for sample preparation, data collection and analysis,” says Wenbing Yun, PhD., Founder and CTO of Xradia. “We’re very much looking forward to helping advance adoption and the potential for correlative studies encompassing cell structure.”

The UltraXRM-S/L220c equips scientists to begin imaging using the water window laboratory source next year and continue through deployment on bending magnet beamline B24 in 2014.

About Diamond

  • Diamond Light Source is funded by the UK Government via the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) and by the Wellcome Trust.
  • For more information about Diamond including information on Phases I and II visit www.diamond.ac.uk
  • Diamond generates extremely intense pin-point beams of synchrotron light of exceptional quality ranging from X-rays, ultra-violet and infrared. For example Diamond’s X-rays are around 100 billion times brighter than a standard hospital X-ray machine.
  • Many of the everyday commodities that we take for granted, from food manufacturing to cosmetics, from revolutionary drugs to surgical tools, from computers to mobile phones, have all been developed or improved using synchrotron light.
  • Diamond brings benefits to:
    • Biology and medicine. For example, the fight against illnesses such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, osteoporosis and many cancers will benefit from the new research techniques available at Diamond.
    • The physical and chemical sciences. For example, in the near future, engineers will be able to image their structure down to an atomic scale, helping them to understand the way impurities and defects behave and how they can be controlled.
    • The Environmental and Earth sciences. For example, Diamond helps researchers to identify organisms that target specific types of contaminant in the environment which can potentially lead to identifying cheap and effective ways for cleaning polluted land.

About Xradia

Xradia designs and manufactures microscopes for industrial and academic research applications. Xradia’s solutions offer unparalleled high contrast and high resolution imaging capabilities for a large range of sample sizes and shapes. The company’s heritage began in the synchrotron and extends to the laboratory. Energy-tunable, ultra-high resolution 3D X-ray microscopes for synchrotron facilities include the UltraSPX and the UltraXRM-S. Xradia’s two laboratory product families, the UltraXRM-L and VersaXRM, together offer a multi-length scale solution delivering full volume 3D imaging with resolution down to 50 nm. Additional information can be found at www.xradia.com.

The Carl Zeiss Group is an international leader in the fields of optics and optoelectronics. In fiscal year 2011/12 the company’s approximately 24,000 employees generated revenue of nearly 4.2 billion euros. In the markets for Industrial Solutions, Research Solutions, Medical Technology and Consumer Optics, ZEISS has contributed to technological progress for more than 160 years and enhances the quality of life of many people around the globe. The Carl Zeiss Group develops and produces planetariums, eyeglass lenses, camera and cine lenses and binoculars as well as solutions for biomedical research, medical technology and the semiconductor, automotive and mechanical engineering industries. ZEISS is present in over 40 countries around the globe with about 40 production facilities, over 50 sales and service locations and service locations and approximately 20 research and development sites. Carl Zeiss AG is fully owned by the Carl Zeiss Stiftung (Carl Zeiss Foundation). Founded in 1846 in Jena, the company is headquartered in Oberkochen, Germany.

About Carl Zeiss Microscopy
The Microscopy business group at ZEISS is the world’s only manufacturer of light, X-ray and electron microscopes. The company’s extensive portfolio enables research and routine applications in the life and materials sciences. The product range includes light and laser scanning microscopes, X-ray microscopes, electron and ion microscopes and spectrometer modules. Users are supported for software for system control, image capture and editing. The Microscopy business group has sales companies in 33 countries. Application and service specialists support customers around the globe in demo centers and on site. The business group is headquartered in Jena, Germany. Additional production and development sites are in Oberkochen, Göttingen and Munich, as well as in Cambridge in the UK and Peabody, MA and Pleasanton, CA in the USA. The company has around 2,800 employees and generates revenue of 650 million euros. www.zeiss.de/press

Press contacts
Dr. Jochen Tham
ZEISS, Microscopy
Phone +49 3641 64-3949
Email: jochen.tham@zeiss.com

Brenda Ropoulos
ZEISS, Carl Zeiss X-ray Microscopy
Phone +1 510 414 6772
Email: brenda.ropoulos@zeiss.com

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