Home | Legals | Sitemap | KIT

X-ray nano-imaging for life science at ID16-NI, ESRF

X-ray nano-imaging for life science at ID16-NI, ESRF

new ANKA seminar room, building 348, 2nd floor


ESRF, Grenoble, France



Inviting person:

Tilo Baumbach, KIT-ANKA, IPS, LAS


Yang Yang



X-ray microscopy as a biological imaging tool is attracting increasing as it allows insights into tissues and small organisms for quantitative information of morphology as well as chemical information regarding elemental distribution and concentration at sub-cellular level in 3D.

The European synchrotron ESRF has developed within its upgrade program a new nano-imaging end station ID16-NI. This beamline is focused on X-ray coherent imaging [1,2] and scanning X-ray fluorescence microscopy (SXFM) [3], aiming mainly at the applications in biology, biomedicine and nanotechnology.

As a coherent imaging technique, X-ray phase nano-tomography can retrieve non-destructively and quantitatively the electron density distribution of the objects in 3D. Complementary to the structural study, SXFM is a label-free probe for mapping multiple elements simultaneously down to nano-scale resolution with trace elemental sensitivity. Combining these two techniques, correlative X-ray microscopy can quantify the elemental concentration within whole cells [2,4].

A spatial resolution of a few tens of nanometers has been achieved in coherent imaging and fluorescence imaging techniques at the energy of 17 keV in ID16-NI. We will present the first applications of this new instrument, and a few exmaples in life science.


[1] Langer, Max, et al. "X-ray phase nanotomography resolves the 3D human bone ultrastructure." PloS one 7.8 (2012): e35691.

[2] Kosior, Ewelina, et al. "Combined use of hard X-ray phase contrast imaging and X-ray fluorescence microscopy for sub-cellular metal quantification." Journal of structural biology 177.2 (2012): 239-247.

[3] Mokso, R., et al. "Nanoscale zoom tomography with hard x rays using Kirkpatrick-Baez optics." Applied physics letters 90.14 (2007): 144104-144104.

[4] Yang, Y., et al. "Correlative Imaging of Structural and Elemental Composition of Bacterial Biofilms." Journal of Physics: Conference Series. Vol. 463. No. 1. IOP Publishing, 2013.