Phase-contrast zoom tomography reveals precise locations of macrophages in mouse lungs.
Krenkel, Martin ; Markus, Andrea ; Bartels, Matthias ; Dullin, Christian ; Alves, Frauke ; Salditt, Tim
Citable Link (URL):http://resolver.sub.uni-goettingen.de/purl?gs-1/13625
We have performed x-ray phase-contrast tomography on mouse lung tissue. Using a divergent x-ray beam generated by nanoscale focusing, we used zoom tomography to produce three-dimensional reconstructions with selectable magnification, resolution, and field of view. Thus, macroscopic tissue samples extending over several mm can be studied in sub-cellular-level structural detail. The zoom capability and, in particular, the high dose efficiency are enabled by the near-perfect exit wavefront of an optimized x-ray waveguide channel. In combination with suitable phase-retrieval algorithms, challenging radiation-sensitive and low-contrast samples can be reconstructed with minimal artefacts. The dose efficiency of the method is demonstrated by the reconstruction of living macrophages both with and without phagocytized contrast agents. We also used zoom tomography to visualize barium-labelled macrophages in the context of morphological structures in asthmatic and healthy mouse lung tissue one day after intratracheal application. The three-dimensional reconstructions showed that the macrophages predominantly localized to the alveoli, but they were also found in bronchial walls, indicating that these cells might be able to migrate from the lumen of the bronchi through the epithelium.