3D-Analysis of Biological Cells

Solids can be characterised with Time-of-Flight Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (ToF-SIMS) 3D micro domain analysis. With this technique a sample is undergoing intermittent bombardment by primary ions for the analysis and primary ions for sputtering of the sample. In general, this continuous bombardment leads to a destruction of (organic) bonds in the sample, such that usually only information about the element distribution can be acquired. With the C60 sputter source, a technical innovation of recent years, the drawback of destruction of organic information is now partially overcome. As this example shows, by now it is possible to obtain organic information from cell samples. Signals due to amino acids are represented in red whereas lipid signals and substrate signals are represented in green and blue, respectively. These results can be represented in virtual cross sections (large image: xy cross section, small image: xz cross section). Further details can be obtained from the corresponding publication.

Lipids
Amino acids
Substrate