Tredimensionell diffraktionsavbildning med frielektronlasrar

Tidsperiod: 2013-09-01 till 2017-08-31

Projektledare: Filipe Maia

Finansiär: SSF, Stiftelsen för strategisk forskning

Bidragstyp: Bidrag för anställning eller stipendier

Budget: 3 000 000 SEK

The advent of X-ray free-electron lasers has provided users with beams of unprecedented peak brightness, a billion times brighter than previous sources, and briefness with pulse duration on only a few femtoseconds. These properties made the concept of diffraction before destruction possible. In such an experiment a sample is subject to such an intense X-ray beam that it explodes, but thanks to the extremely short pulse, which is faster than the explosion, an image of the intact sample can be recovered from the scattered photons, much like flash photography can freeze a subject. Single particle diffraction at X-ray free-electron lasers using the diffraction before destruction technique is booming and there have been several promising results published. I was part of the team that imaged the first virus using the technique, published last year in Nature. The next objective is obtaining three dimensional images of reproducible biological systems, such as virus particles, by combining the data from multiple diffraction images, each obtained from a similar sample. There are several promising algorithms proposed to achieve this, but they need to be further developed and refined with experimental data. Making three dimensional single particle image a routine technique is the goal of this project. This will provide an invaluable new imaging tool with broad impact in several areas of biology particularly celular, molecular and structural biology, complementing existing techniques.