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30.09.2015 08:31

UZH-Physicists take important leap which may lead to new drug design.

Jean-Nicolas Longchamp from the Fink-Group at the Institute of Physics produces the first nanometer resolved image of individual tabacco mosaic virions. His work may lead to new drug design.

Longchamp's approach is based on low-energy electron holography and has two great advantages compared to conventional electron microscopy: His technique is not limited by lens aberration, since no lenses are involved. Secondly and most important, low-energy electrons do no harm to biomolecules.

Conventional high-energy electron microscopy has to deal with conflicting goals such as "high image resolution" versus "the avoiding of radiation damages to the biosample". Thus the image resolution of this technique is limited. In low-energy electron holography an electron dose five orders of magnitude higher than the critical dose in transmission electron microscopy can be applied without observing radiation damage. This fact allows imaging individual biomolecules at a nanometer resolution and makes it a promising technique for developing new drugs.


Further reading:
Jean-Nicolas Longchamp, Tatiana Latychevskaia, Conrad Escher, Hans-Werner Fink, Low-energy electron holographic imaging of individual tobacco mosaic virions, Appl. Phys. Lett. 107, 133101 (2015); dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4931607







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