We present here a correlative X-ray microscopy approach for quantitative single cell imaging of molar concentrations. By combining the elemental content provided by X-ray fluorescence microscopy and the morphology information extracted from X-ray phase nanotomography, we determine the intracellular molarity distributions. This correlative method was demonstrated on a freeze-dried human phagocytic cell to obtain the absolute elemental concentration maps of K, P, and Fe. The cell morphology results showed a very good agreement with atomic-force microscopy measurements. This work opens the way for non-destructive single cell chemical analysis down to the sub-cellular level using exclusively synchrotron radiation techniques. It will be of high interest in the case where it is difficult to access the morphology using atomic-force microscopy, for example, on frozen-hydrated cells or tissues.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)