Anisotropic x-ray scattering and orientation fields in cardiac tissue cells
Citable Link (URL):http://resolver.sub.uni-goettingen.de/purl?gs-1/14526
X-ray diffraction from biomolecular assemblies is a powerful technique which can provide structural information about complex architectures such as the locomotor systems underlying muscle contraction. However, in its conventional form, macromolecular diffraction averages over large ensembles. Progress in x-ray optics has now enabled to probe structures on sub-cellular scales, with the beam confined to a distinct organelle. Here, we use scanning small angle x-ray scattering (scanning SAXS) to probe the diffraction from cytoskeleton networks in cardiac tissue cells. In particular, we focus on actin-myosin composites, which we identify as the dominating contribution to the anisotropic diffraction patterns, by correlation with optical fluorescence microscopy. To this end, we use a principal component analysis approach to quantify direction, degree of orientation, nematic order, and the second moment of the scattering distribution in each scan point.Wecompare the fiber orientation from micrographs of fluorescently labeled actin fibers to the structure orientation of the x-ray dataset and thus correlate signals of two different measurements: the native electron density distribution of the local probing area versus specifically labeled constituents of the sample. Further, we develop a robust and automated fitting approach based on a power law expansion, in order to describe the local structure factor in each scan point over a broad range of the momentum transfer qr. Finally, we demonstrate how the methodology shown for freeze dried cells in the first part of the paper can be translated to alive cell recordings.