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Home > Bionanoprobe

LS-CAT Bionanoprobe

The Bionanoprobe (BNP) is a sample scanning hard X-ray fluorescence nanoprobe with cryogenic capabilities. It was installed at the LS-CAT 21-ID-D station in October, 2011. The BNP is devoted to sub–100 nm high-resolution X-ray imaging and spectroscopy for life sciences.

The BNP was developed with a grant from the National Institutes of Health in collaboration between XRADIA, Northwestern University, and the Advanced Photon Source. Operations are funded jointly by LS-CAT and the APS.

  • Nanofluorescence imaging
  • Differential phase contrast imaging
  • Nanofluorescence tomography (commissioning)
  • Nano X-ray absorption near edge structure (planned)

The Bionanoprobe is equipped with cryogenic capabilities and a robotic sample loading mechanism, which enables frozen-hydrated biological samples and other organic samples to be studied at ~100 K. By using cryogenic methods, organic samples are well preserved from radiation damage during high-resolution X-ray studies.

Sample Images:

Both images below were collected simualtaniously from a rat fibroblast cell prepared by plunge freezing in liquid ethane using the Bionanoprobe with a 50 nm step size and 250 ms dwell time per pixel.

Differential Phase Contrast Image

Flouorescence Mapping of Potassium (K)


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