Imaging of single cells and tissue using MeV ions
With the attainment of sub-100 nm high energy (MeV) ion beams, comes the opportunity to image cells and tissue at nano-dimensions. The advantage of MeV ion imaging is that the ions will penetrate whole cells, or relatively thick tissue sections, without any significant loss of resolution. In this paper, we demonstrate that whole cells (cultured N2A neuroblastoma cells ATCC) and tissue sections (rabbit pancreas tissue) can be imaged at sub-100 nm resolutions using scanning transmission ion microscopy (STIM), and that sub-cellular structural details can be identified. In addition to STIM imaging we have also demonstrated for the first time, that sub-cellular proton induced fluorescence imaging (on cultured N2A neuroblastoma cells ATCC) can also be carried out at resolutions of 200 nm, compared with 300-400 nm resolutions achieved by conventional optical fluorescence imaging. The combination of both techniques offers a potentially powerful tool in the quest for elucidating cell function, particularly when it should be possible in the near future to image down to sub-50 nm. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.