The University of Southampton

High-resolution imaging of neurons using hard X-rays

Published: 22 February 2016

A team from the University of Southampton has been awarded beam time at the Diamond synchrotron to develop a new technique for looking within a single neuron, to understand its physical and chemical structures.

The technique uses two novel X-ray imaging processes simultaneously: X-ray fluorescence, which can identify the presence of particular elements within the neuron, in combination with a new technique known as ptychography. Ptychography can be used to produce very detailed maps of the density of atoms in the neuron, and the combination of the two techniques should produce the most detailed maps of the neuron yet measured.

The team is made up of staff from the Optoelectronics Research Centre, and the Institute for Life Sciences.

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