Correlative microscopy approach for biology using X-ray holography, X-ray scanning diffraction and STED microscopy

Nat Commun. 2018 Sep 7;9(1):3641. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-05885-z.


We present a correlative microscopy approach for biology based on holographic X-ray imaging, X-ray scanning diffraction, and stimulated emission depletion (STED) microscopy. All modalities are combined into the same synchrotron endstation. In this way, labeled and unlabeled structures in cells are visualized in a complementary manner. We map out the fluorescently labeled actin cytoskeleton in heart tissue cells and superimpose the data with phase maps from X-ray holography. Furthermore, an array of local far-field diffraction patterns is recorded in the regime of small-angle X-ray scattering (scanning SAXS), which can be interpreted in terms of biomolecular shape and spatial correlations of all contributing scattering constituents. We find that principal directions of anisotropic diffraction patterns coincide to a certain degree with the actin fiber directions and that actin stands out in the phase maps from holographic recordings. In situ STED recordings are proposed to formulate models for diffraction data based on co-localization constraints.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Actin Cytoskeleton
  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Holography / methods*
  • Microscopy / methods*
  • Myocytes, Cardiac
  • Radiography / methods*
  • Rats, Wistar


  • Fluorescent Dyes