Valentina L. et.al, 22nd November 2021

High-resolution and rapid imaging of host cell ultrastructure can generate insights towards viral disease mechanism, for example for a severe acute respiratory 2 syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection.

Here, they employ full-rotation soft X-ray tomography (SXT) to examine organelle remodeling induced by SARS-CoV-2 at the whole cell level with high spatial resolution and throughput. Most of the current SXT systems suffer from a restricted field of view due to use of flat sample supports and artifacts due to missing data. In this approach using cylindrical sample holders, a full-rotation tomogram of human lung epithelial cells is performed in less than 10 minutes.

They demonstrated the potential of SXT imaging by visualizing aggregates of SARS-CoV-2 virions and virus-induced intracellular alterations. This rapid whole cell imaging approach allows them to visualize the spatiotemporal changes of cellular organelles upon viral infection in a quantitative manner.

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