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*CIL – Cell Image Library accession number. Please use this to reference an image.

CIL:41361*  Cite 

The image shows a slice through a 3D tomographic reconstruction of a mouse adenocarcinoma cell based on x-ray microscopy. Live cells were cryofixed by plunge freezing in liquid ethane and the vitrified material observed unstained using x-ray microscopy at a wavelength that yields high contrast between water and organic material. Images were taken over a range of specimen tilts from -60 to +60 degrees at 1 degree intervals. The image represents a 9.8 nm thick slice of the computed tomogram in the x-y plane, and shows an overview of cytoplasm at left, with mitochondria, vesicles, and endoplasmic reticulum. At right is a portion of the nucleus. The image has a resolution of ~36 nm (Rayleigh Criterion) and ~70 nm (Fourier Ring Correlation), the latter corresponding to ~35 nm half-pitch resolution. Additional X-ray images from the study are included in this CIL Group. See also: W G Muller et al. 2012 Towards an atlas of mammalian cell ultrastructure by soft X-ray tomography. J Struct Biol 177:179-192.

Technical Details

Mouse adenocarcinoma cells were grown on gold grids coated with cellulose nitrate, incubated with 270 nm diameter gold-coated silica beads, plunge frozen in liquid ethane, transferred to a Gatan 630 cryoholder, and imaged at -170C in the frozen hydrated state using the X-ray microscope at the Helmholz Zentrum, Berlin, Germany. The microscope uses partially coherent illumination and a zone plate objective, and allows the specimen to be observed over a range of tilts. The images were aligned using the gold beads as fiduciary markers, and reconstructed using a reciprocal space algorithm. See: G Schneider et al. 2010 Three-dimensional cellular ultrastructure resolved by X-ray microscopy. Nat Meth 7:985-987.

Biological Sources
NCBI Organism Classification
Mus musculus
Cell Type
Cellular Component
Biological Context
Biological Process
cytoplasm organization
Waltraud G. Muller
J. Bernard Haymann
Kunio Nagashima
Peter Guttman
Stephan Werner
Stefan Rehbein
Gerd Schneider
James G. McNally
Stefan Heim
Florian Mueller
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Archival Resource Key (ARK)
Grouping This image is part of a group.
Image Type
recorded image
Image Mode
X-ray micrograph
Parameters Imaged
x-ray scattering
Source of Contrast
intrinsic mass distribution
Visualization Methods
visualization of contiguous regions
Data Qualifiers
processed data
Sample Preparation
cryofixed tissue
Relation To Intact Cell
slice of 3D tomogram
Spatial Axis Image Size Pixel Size
X 432px 19.6nm
Y 432px 19.6nm