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Fratini M.,Enrico Fermi Center ab | Fratini M.,Third University of Rome | Bukreeva I.,CNR Institute of Neuroscience | Campi G.,CNR Institute of Crystallography | And 14 more authors.
Scientific Reports | Year: 2014

Faults in vascular (VN) and neuronal networks of spinal cord are responsible for serious neurodegenerative pathologies. Because of inadequate investigation tools, the lacking knowledge of the complete fine structure of VN and neuronal system represents a crucial problem. Conventional 2D imaging yields incomplete spatial coverage leading to possible data misinterpretation, whereas standard 3D computed tomography imaging achieves insufficient resolution and contrast. We show that X-ray high-resolution phase-contrast tomography allows the simultaneous visualization of three-dimensional VN and neuronal systems of ex-vivo mouse spinal cord at scales spanning from millimeters to hundreds of nanometers, with nor contrast agent nor sectioning and neither destructive sample-preparation. We image both the 3D distribution of micro-capillary network and the micrometric nerve fibers, axon-bundles and neuron soma. Our approach is very suitable for pre-clinical investigation of neurodegenerative pathologies and spinal-cord-injuries, in particular to resolve the entangled relationship between VN and neuronal system.


Malucelli E.,University of Bologna | Iotti S.,University of Bologna | Iotti S.,Italian National Institute of Biosystems and Biostructures | Gianoncelli A.,Elettra - Sincrotrone Trieste | And 14 more authors.
Analytical Chemistry | Year: 2014

We report a method that allows a complete quantitative characterization of whole single cells, assessing the total amount of carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, sodium, and magnesium and providing submicrometer maps of element molar concentration, cell density, mass, and volume. This approach allows quantifying elements down to 106 atoms/μm3. This result was obtained by applying a multimodal fusion approach that combines synchrotron radiation microscopy techniques with off-line atomic force microscopy. The method proposed permits us to find the element concentration in addition to the mass fraction and provides a deeper and more complete knowledge of cell composition. We performed measurements on LoVo human colon cancer cells sensitive (LoVo-S) and resistant (LoVo-R) to doxorubicin. The comparison of LoVo-S and LoVo-R revealed different patterns in the maps of Mg concentration with higher values within the nucleus in LoVo-R and in the perinuclear region in LoVo-S cells. This feature was not so evident for the other elements, suggesting that Mg compartmentalization could be a significant trait of the drug-resistant cells. © 2014 American Chemical Society.

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