Methods and application of coherent X-ray diffraction imaging of noncrystalline particles

Masayoshi Nakasako, Amane Kobayashi, Yuki Takayama, Kenta Asakura, Mao Oide, Koji Okajima, Tomotaka Oroguchi, Masaki Yamamoto

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Microscopic imaging techniques have been developed to visualize events occurring in biological cells. Coherent X-ray diffraction imaging is one of the techniques applicable to structural analyses of cells and organelles, which have never been crystallized. In the experiment, a single noncrystalline particle is illuminated by an X-ray beam with almost complete spatial coherence. The structure of the particle projected along the direction of the beam is, in principle, retrieved from a finely recorded diffraction pattern alone by using iterative phase-retrieval algorithms. Here, we describe fundamental theory and experimental methods of coherent X-ray diffraction imaging and the recent application in structural studies of noncrystalline specimens by using X-rays available at Super Photon Ring of 8-Gev and SPring-8 Angstrom Compact Free Electron Laser in Japan.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)541-567
Number of pages27
JournalBiophysical Reviews
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Apr 1


  • Coherent X-ray diffraction imaging
  • Cryogenic experiment
  • Noncrystalline particle
  • Synchrotron radiation
  • Three-dimensional structure
  • X-ray free electron laser

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Structural Biology
  • Molecular Biology


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