Micro x-ray fluorescence analysis of trace element distribution in frozen hydrated HeLa cells at the P06 beamline at Petra III

Rumancev, C. and Vöpel, T. and Stuhr, S. and Von Gundlach, A. and Senkbeil, T. and Ebbinghaus, S. and Garrevoet, J. and Falkenberg, G. and De Samber, B. and Vincze, L. and Rosenhahn, A. and Schroeder, W.

Volume: 16 Pages:
DOI: 10.1116/6.0000593
Published: 2021

X-ray fluorescence analysis enables the study of trace element distributions in biological specimens. When this analysis is done under cryogenic conditions, cells are cryofixed as closely as possible to their natural physiological state, and the corresponding intracellular elemental densities can be analyzed. Details about the experimental setup used for analysis at the P06 beamline at Petra III, DESY and the used cryo-transfer system are described in this work. The system was applied to analyze the elemental distribution in single HeLa cells, a cell line frequently used in a wide range of biological applications. Cells adhered to silicon nitride substrates were cryoprotected within an amorphous ice matrix. Using a continuous scanning scheme and a KB x-ray focus, the distribution of elements in the cells was studied. We were able to image the intracellular potassium and zinc levels in HeLa cells as two key elements relevant for the physiology of cells. © 2021 Author(s).

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