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The use of soft X-ray tomography to explore mitochondrial structure and function



Mitochondria are cellular organelles responsible for energy production, and dysregulation of the mitochondrial network is associated with many disease states. To fully characterize the mitochondrial network's structure and function, a three-dimensional whole cell mapping technique is required.

Scope of review

This review highlights the use of soft X-ray tomography (SXT) as a relatively high-throughput approach to quantify mitochondrial structure and function under multiple cellular conditions.

Major conclusions

The use of SXT opens the door for mapping cellular rearrangements during critical processes such as insulin secretion, stem cell differentiation, or disease progression. SXT provides unique information such as biochemical compositions or molecular densities of organelles and allows for unbiased, label-free imaging of intact whole cells. Mapping mitochondria in the context of the near-native cellular environment will reveal more information regarding mitochondrial network functions within the cell.

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