TSU and DESY create first-ever cell nondestructive microscope



Radiophysics of Tomsk State University (TSU) together with scientists from the German DESY center will create the world's first prototype of X-ray microscope by 2020, which will allow to conduct long-term cell research without destroying them, the university press service said.

According to open sources, DESY (Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron – "The German Electronic Synchrotron") – is the Germany's largest research center for particle physics. It is founded in 1959, located in Hamburg and Zeuthen.

It is specified that the joint project of TSU and DESY assumes the creation of the world's first prototype of X-ray microscope for the study of cells until 2020. The project is supported by the competition of the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres, funding will be 6 million rubles a year.

"A microscope is being created for the research of cells and their structures. Today, there are devices which allow to do this with the help of electron microscopy. But in this case, the object of research is destroyed due to its bombardment by an electron beam. In a x-ray microscope, the influence will not be so strong", – the TSU scientist Anton Tyazhev is quoted.

It is noted that TSU radiophysics within the framework of the project will produce sensors based on gallium arsenide for recording emissions. DESY scientists will produce an electronic microscope system, data acquisition system, X-ray lens system. The device will be tested in Germany, since the prototype can only be used in synchrotron X-ray centers.

"This is a new tool for research in the field of biology and medicine. The scientists will be able to study processes at the cellular level, to conduct long enough observations without destroying the object. Perhaps, the microscope will allow to approach the understanding of the development of some diseases. Also it will be possible to observe which changes happen in cells under the influence of medicines", – Tyazhev says.

The research was supported by the Russian Science Foundation.