Publications by authors named "Patrik Vagovič"

20 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Emergence of anomalous dynamics in soft matter probed at the European XFEL.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2020 09 15;117(39):24110-24116. Epub 2020 Sep 15.

Photon Science, Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron DESY, 22607 Hamburg, Germany.

Dynamics and kinetics in soft matter physics, biology, and nanoscience frequently occur on fast (sub)microsecond but not ultrafast timescales which are difficult to probe experimentally. The European X-ray Free-Electron Laser (European XFEL), a megahertz hard X-ray Free-Electron Laser source, enables such experiments via taking series of diffraction patterns at repetition rates of up to 4.5 MHz. Here, we demonstrate X-ray photon correlation spectroscopy (XPCS) with submicrosecond time resolution of soft matter samples at the European XFEL. We show that the XFEL driven by a superconducting accelerator provides unprecedented beam stability within a pulse train. We performed microsecond sequential XPCS experiments probing equilibrium and nonequilibrium diffusion dynamics in water. We find nonlinear heating on microsecond timescales with dynamics beyond hot Brownian motion and superheated water states persisting up to 100 μs at high fluences. At short times up to 20 μs we observe that the dynamics do not obey the Stokes-Einstein predictions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2003337117DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7533660PMC
September 2020

Segmented flow generator for serial crystallography at the European X-ray free electron laser.

Nat Commun 2020 09 9;11(1):4511. Epub 2020 Sep 9.

School of Molecular Sciences, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, 85287-1604, USA.

Serial femtosecond crystallography (SFX) with X-ray free electron lasers (XFELs) allows structure determination of membrane proteins and time-resolved crystallography. Common liquid sample delivery continuously jets the protein crystal suspension into the path of the XFEL, wasting a vast amount of sample due to the pulsed nature of all current XFEL sources. The European XFEL (EuXFEL) delivers femtosecond (fs) X-ray pulses in trains spaced 100 ms apart whereas pulses within trains are currently separated by 889 ns. Therefore, continuous sample delivery via fast jets wastes >99% of sample. Here, we introduce a microfluidic device delivering crystal laden droplets segmented with an immiscible oil reducing sample waste and demonstrate droplet injection at the EuXFEL compatible with high pressure liquid delivery of an SFX experiment. While achieving ~60% reduction in sample waste, we determine the structure of the enzyme 3-deoxy-D-manno-octulosonate-8-phosphate synthase from microcrystals delivered in droplets revealing distinct structural features not previously reported.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-18156-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7481229PMC
September 2020

Evaluation of serial crystallographic structure determination within megahertz pulse trains.

Struct Dyn 2019 Nov 4;6(6):064702. Epub 2019 Dec 4.

Center for Free-Electron Laser Science, Deutsches Elektronen Synchrotron, Notkestrasse 85, 22607 Hamburg, Germany.

The new European X-ray Free-Electron Laser (European XFEL) is the first X-ray free-electron laser capable of delivering intense X-ray pulses with a megahertz interpulse spacing in a wavelength range suitable for atomic resolution structure determination. An outstanding but crucial question is whether the use of a pulse repetition rate nearly four orders of magnitude higher than previously possible results in unwanted structural changes due to either radiation damage or systematic effects on data quality. Here, separate structures from the first and subsequent pulses in the European XFEL pulse train were determined, showing that there is essentially no difference between structures determined from different pulses under currently available operating conditions at the European XFEL.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.5124387DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6892710PMC
November 2019

Wavefront sensing at X-ray free-electron lasers.

J Synchrotron Radiat 2019 Jul 19;26(Pt 4):1115-1126. Epub 2019 Jun 19.

European XFEL GmbH, Holzkoppel 4, 22869 Schenefeld, Germany.

Here a direct comparison is made between various X-ray wavefront sensing methods with application to optics alignment and focus characterization at X-ray free-electron lasers (XFELs). Focus optimization at XFEL beamlines presents unique challenges due to high peak powers as well as beam pointing instability, meaning that techniques capable of single-shot measurement and that probe the wavefront at an out-of-focus location are desirable. The techniques chosen for the comparison include single-phase-grating Talbot interferometry (shearing interferometry), dual-grating Talbot interferometry (moiré deflectometry) and speckle tracking. All three methods were implemented during a single beam time at the Linac Coherent Light Source, at the X-ray Pump Probe beamline, in order to make a direct comparison. Each method was used to characterize the wavefront resulting from a stack of beryllium compound refractive lenses followed by a corrective phase plate. In addition, difference wavefront measurements with and without the phase plate agreed with its design to within λ/20, which enabled a direct quantitative comparison between methods. Finally, a path toward automated alignment at XFEL beamlines using a wavefront sensor to close the loop is presented.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1107/S1600577519005721DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6613120PMC
July 2019

The Single Particles, Clusters and Biomolecules and Serial Femtosecond Crystallography instrument of the European XFEL: initial installation.

J Synchrotron Radiat 2019 May 12;26(Pt 3):660-676. Epub 2019 Apr 12.

European XFEL, Holzkoppel 4, 22869 Schenefeld, Germany.

The European X-ray Free-Electron Laser (FEL) became the first operational high-repetition-rate hard X-ray FEL with first lasing in May 2017. Biological structure determination has already benefitted from the unique properties and capabilities of X-ray FELs, predominantly through the development and application of serial crystallography. The possibility of now performing such experiments at data rates more than an order of magnitude greater than previous X-ray FELs enables not only a higher rate of discovery but also new classes of experiments previously not feasible at lower data rates. One example is time-resolved experiments requiring a higher number of time steps for interpretation, or structure determination from samples with low hit rates in conventional X-ray FEL serial crystallography. Following first lasing at the European XFEL, initial commissioning and operation occurred at two scientific instruments, one of which is the Single Particles, Clusters and Biomolecules and Serial Femtosecond Crystallography (SPB/SFX) instrument. This instrument provides a photon energy range, focal spot sizes and diagnostic tools necessary for structure determination of biological specimens. The instrumentation explicitly addresses serial crystallography and the developing single particle imaging method as well as other forward-scattering and diffraction techniques. This paper describes the major science cases of SPB/SFX and its initial instrumentation - in particular its optical systems, available sample delivery methods, 2D detectors, supporting optical laser systems and key diagnostic components. The present capabilities of the instrument will be reviewed and a brief outlook of its future capabilities is also described.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1107/S1600577519003308DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6510195PMC
May 2019

Initial observations of the femtosecond timing jitter at the European XFEL.

Opt Lett 2019 Apr;44(7):1650-1653

Intense, ultrashort, and high-repetition-rate X-ray pulses, combined with a femtosecond optical laser, allow pump-probe experiments with fast data acquisition and femtosecond time resolution. However, the relative timing of the X-ray pulses and the optical laser pulses can be controlled only to a level of the intrinsic error of the instrument which, without characterization, limits the time resolution of experiments. This limitation inevitably calls for a precise determination of the relative arrival time, which can be used after measurement for sorting and tagging the experimental data to a much finer resolution than it can be controlled to. The observed root-mean-square timing jitter between the X-ray and the optical laser at the SPB/SFX instrument at European XFEL was 308 fs. This first measurement of timing jitter at the European XFEL provides an important step in realizing ultrafast experiments at this novel X-ray source. A method for determining the change in the complex refractive index of samples is also presented.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OL.44.001650DOI Listing
April 2019

Fast Fresnel propagation through a set of inclined reflecting planes applicable for X-ray imaging.

Opt Express 2018 Dec;26(26):34569-34579

We present a fast and accurate method for wave propagation through a set of inclined reflecting planes. It is based on the coordinate transformation in reciprocal space leading to a diffraction integral, which can be calculated only by using two 2D Fast Fourier Transforms and one 2D interpolation. The method is numerically tested, and comparisons with standard methods show its superiority in both computational speed and accuracy. The direct application of this method is found in the X-ray phase contrast imaging using the Bragg magnifier-an optics consisting of crystals asymmetrically diffracting in Bragg geometry.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OE.26.034569DOI Listing
December 2018

Phase retrieval for arbitrary Fresnel-like linear shift-invariant imaging systems suitable for tomography.

Biomed Opt Express 2018 Sep 21;9(9):4390-4400. Epub 2018 Aug 21.

European XFEL GmbH, Holzkoppel 4, 22869 Schenefeld, Germany.

We present a generalization of the non-iterative phase retrieval in X-ray phase contrast imaging applicable for an arbitrary linear shift-invariant (LSI) imaging system with a non-negligible amount of free space propagation (termed as Fresnel-like). Our novel approach poses no restrictions on the propagation distance between optical elements of the system. In turn, the requirements are only demanded for the transfer function of the optical elements, which should be approximable by second-order Taylor polynomials. Furthermore, we show that the method can be conveniently used as an initial guess for iterative phase retrieval, resulting in faster convergence. The proposed approach is tested on synthetic and experimentally measured holograms obtained using a Bragg magnifier microscope - a representative of Fresnel-like LSI imaging systems. Finally, the algorithm is applied to a whole micro-tomographic scan of a biological specimen of a tardigrade, revealing morphological details at the spatial resolution of 300 nm - limiting resolution of the actual imaging system.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/BOE.9.004390DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6157775PMC
September 2018

Megahertz serial crystallography.

Authors:
Max O Wiedorn Dominik Oberthür Richard Bean Robin Schubert Nadine Werner Brian Abbey Martin Aepfelbacher Luigi Adriano Aschkan Allahgholi Nasser Al-Qudami Jakob Andreasson Steve Aplin Salah Awel Kartik Ayyer Saša Bajt Imrich Barák Sadia Bari Johan Bielecki Sabine Botha Djelloul Boukhelef Wolfgang Brehm Sandor Brockhauser Igor Cheviakov Matthew A Coleman Francisco Cruz-Mazo Cyril Danilevski Connie Darmanin R Bruce Doak Martin Domaracky Katerina Dörner Yang Du Hans Fangohr Holger Fleckenstein Matthias Frank Petra Fromme Alfonso M Gañán-Calvo Yaroslav Gevorkov Klaus Giewekemeyer Helen Mary Ginn Heinz Graafsma Rita Graceffa Dominic Greiffenberg Lars Gumprecht Peter Göttlicher Janos Hajdu Steffen Hauf Michael Heymann Susannah Holmes Daniel A Horke Mark S Hunter Siegfried Imlau Alexander Kaukher Yoonhee Kim Alexander Klyuev Juraj Knoška Bostjan Kobe Manuela Kuhn Christopher Kupitz Jochen Küpper Janine Mia Lahey-Rudolph Torsten Laurus Karoline Le Cong Romain Letrun P Lourdu Xavier Luis Maia Filipe R N C Maia Valerio Mariani Marc Messerschmidt Markus Metz Davide Mezza Thomas Michelat Grant Mills Diana C F Monteiro Andrew Morgan Kerstin Mühlig Anna Munke Astrid Münnich Julia Nette Keith A Nugent Theresa Nuguid Allen M Orville Suraj Pandey Gisel Pena Pablo Villanueva-Perez Jennifer Poehlsen Gianpietro Previtali Lars Redecke Winnie Maria Riekehr Holger Rohde Adam Round Tatiana Safenreiter Iosifina Sarrou Tokushi Sato Marius Schmidt Bernd Schmitt Robert Schönherr Joachim Schulz Jonas A Sellberg M Marvin Seibert Carolin Seuring Megan L Shelby Robert L Shoeman Marcin Sikorski Alessandro Silenzi Claudiu A Stan Xintian Shi Stephan Stern Jola Sztuk-Dambietz Janusz Szuba Aleksandra Tolstikova Martin Trebbin Ulrich Trunk Patrik Vagovic Thomas Ve Britta Weinhausen Thomas A White Krzysztof Wrona Chen Xu Oleksandr Yefanov Nadia Zatsepin Jiaguo Zhang Markus Perbandt Adrian P Mancuso Christian Betzel Henry Chapman Anton Barty

Nat Commun 2018 10 2;9(1):4025. Epub 2018 Oct 2.

Center for Free-Electron Laser Science, Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron DESY, Notkestrasse 85, 22607, Hamburg, Germany.

The new European X-ray Free-Electron Laser is the first X-ray free-electron laser capable of delivering X-ray pulses with a megahertz inter-pulse spacing, more than four orders of magnitude higher than previously possible. However, to date, it has been unclear whether it would indeed be possible to measure high-quality diffraction data at megahertz pulse repetition rates. Here, we show that high-quality structures can indeed be obtained using currently available operating conditions at the European XFEL. We present two complete data sets, one from the well-known model system lysozyme and the other from a so far unknown complex of a β-lactamase from K. pneumoniae involved in antibiotic resistance. This result opens up megahertz serial femtosecond crystallography (SFX) as a tool for reliable structure determination, substrate screening and the efficient measurement of the evolution and dynamics of molecular structures using megahertz repetition rate pulses available at this new class of X-ray laser source.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-018-06156-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6168542PMC
October 2018

Single-shot determination of focused FEL wave fields using iterative phase retrieval.

Opt Express 2017 Jul;25(15):17892-17903

Determining fluctuations in focus properties is essential for many experiments at Self-Amplified-Spontaneous-Emission (SASE) based Free-Electron-Lasers (FELs), in particular for imaging single non-crystalline biological particles. We report on a diffractive imaging technique to fully characterize highly focused, single-shot pulses using an iterative phase retrieval algorithm, and benchmark it against an existing Hartmann wavefront sensor. The results, both theoretical and experimental, demonstrate the effectiveness of this technique to provide a comprehensive and convenient shot-to-shot measurement of focused-pulse wave fields and source-point positional variations without the need for manipulative optics between the focus and the detector.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OE.25.017892DOI Listing
July 2017

MHz frame rate hard X-ray phase-contrast imaging using synchrotron radiation.

Opt Express 2017 Jun;25(12):13857-13871

Third generation synchrotron light sources offer high photon flux, partial spatial coherence, and ~10 s pulse widths. These enable hard X-ray phase-contrast imaging (XPCI) with single-bunch temporal resolutions. In this work, we exploited the MHz repetition rates of synchrotron X-ray pulses combined with indirect X-ray detection to demonstrate the potential of XPCI with millions of frames per second multiple-frame recording. This allows for the visualization of aperiodic or stochastic transient processes which are impossible to be realized using single-shot or stroboscopic XPCI. We present observations of various phenomena, such as crack tip propagation in glass, shock wave propagation in water and explosion during electric arc ignition, which evolve in the order of km/s (µm/ns).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OE.25.013857DOI Listing
June 2017

Single-distance phase retrieval algorithm for Bragg Magnifier microscope.

Opt Express 2016 Nov;24(24):27753-27762

We present an improved, single-distance phase retrieval algorithm applicable for holographic X-ray imaging of biological objects for an in-line germanium Bragg Magnifier Microscope (BMM). The proposed algorithm takes advantage of a modified shrink-wrap algorithm for phase objects, robust unwrapping algorithm as well as other reasonable constraints applied to the wavefield at the object and the detector plane. The performance of the algorithm is analyzed on phantom objects and the results are shown and discussed. We demonstrated the suitability of the algorithm for the phase retrieval on a more complex biological specimen Tardigrade, where we achieved successful phase retrieval from only a single hologram. The spatial resolution obtained by Fourier spectral power method for biological objects is ∼ 300 nm, the same value as obtained from the reconstructed test pattern. Our results achieved using the new algorithm confirmed the potential of BMM for in-vivo, dose-efficient single-shot imaging of biological objects.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OE.24.027753DOI Listing
November 2016

Effect of beam hardening on a visibility-contrast image obtained by X-ray grating interferometry.

Opt Express 2015 Sep;23(18):23462-71

X-ray grating interferometry has been highlighted in the last decade as a multi-modal X-ray phase-imaging technique for providing absorption, differential phase, and visibility-contrast images. It has been mainly reported that the visibility contrast in the visibility-contrast image originates from unresolvable random microstructures. In this paper, we show that the visibility contrast is even reduced by a uniform sample with flat surfaces due to the so-called "beam-hardening effect", which has to be taken into account when X-rays with a continuous spectrum is used. We drive a criterion for determining whether the beam-hardening effect occurs or not, and propose a method for correcting the effect of beam hardening on a visibility-contrast image.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OE.23.023462DOI Listing
September 2015

Comparative thorax morphology of death-feigning flightless cryptorhynchine weevils (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) based on 3D reconstructions.

Arthropod Struct Dev 2015 Nov 7;44(6 Pt A):509-23. Epub 2015 Aug 7.

State Museum of Natural History (SMNK), Erbprinzenstr. 13, D-76133 Karlsruhe, Germany.

The thorax morphology, especially the muscles and the tracheal system of three flightless species of Cryptorhynchinae is examined by digital 3D reconstructions based on synchrotron X-ray microtomography and compared to other Curculionidae. Wings, metanepisternites, and muscles functional in flight are fully reduced in the species examined: Kyklioacalles roboris (Curtis), Trigonopterus scharfi Riedel and Trigonopterus vandekampi Riedel. All three share the same set of thoracic muscles, but differences exist in the shape and size of muscles. Both Trigonopterus species examined have a conspicuous fan-shaped branch of Musculus mesosterni primus contracting pro- and mesothorax, interpreted as an adaption to their thanatosis defense strategy. Trigonopterus vandekampi furthermore shows a marked increase in the size of two metacoxal muscles, which may be functional in this species' thanatosis blocking mechanisms. The metathoracic spiracle of all Trigonopterus species is located at the side of the metaventrite externally and not in the subelytral space as in other beetles. It is hypothesized that this translocation was triggered by the need to improve oxygen supply during thanatosis, when both the mesothoracic spiracle and the subelytral cavity are tightly sealed from the outside.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.asd.2015.07.004DOI Listing
November 2015

Three-dimensional reconstructions come to life--interactive 3D PDF animations in functional morphology.

PLoS One 2014 16;9(7):e102355. Epub 2014 Jul 16.

State Museum of Natural History (SMNK), Karlsruhe, Germany.

Digital surface mesh models based on segmented datasets have become an integral part of studies on animal anatomy and functional morphology; usually, they are published as static images, movies or as interactive PDF files. We demonstrate the use of animated 3D models embedded in PDF documents, which combine the advantages of both movie and interactivity, based on the example of preserved Trigonopterus weevils. The method is particularly suitable to simulate joints with largely deterministic movements due to precise form closure. We illustrate the function of an individual screw-and-nut type hip joint and proceed to the complex movements of the entire insect attaining a defence position. This posture is achieved by a specific cascade of movements: Head and legs interlock mutually and with specific features of thorax and the first abdominal ventrite, presumably to increase the mechanical stability of the beetle and to maintain the defence position with minimal muscle activity. The deterministic interaction of accurately fitting body parts follows a defined sequence, which resembles a piece of engineering.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0102355PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4100761PMC
November 2015

Cockroaches probably cleaned up after dinosaurs.

PLoS One 2013 4;8(12):e80560. Epub 2013 Dec 4.

Geological Institute, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Bratislava, Slovakia ; Arthropoda Laboratory, Paleontological Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia.

Dinosaurs undoubtedly produced huge quantities of excrements. But who cleaned up after them? Dung beetles and flies with rapid development were rare during most of the Mesozoic. Candidates for these duties are extinct cockroaches (Blattulidae), whose temporal range is associated with herbivorous dinosaurs. An opportunity to test this hypothesis arises from coprolites to some extent extruded from an immature cockroach preserved in the amber of Lebanon, studied using synchrotron X-ray microtomography. 1.06% of their volume is filled by particles of wood with smooth edges, in which size distribution directly supports their external pre-digestion. Because fungal pre-processing can be excluded based on the presence of large particles (combined with small total amount of wood) and absence of damages on wood, the likely source of wood are herbivore feces. Smaller particles were broken down biochemically in the cockroach hind gut, which indicates that the recent lignin-decomposing termite and cockroach endosymbionts might have been transferred to the cockroach gut upon feeding on dinosaur feces.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0080560PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3851186PMC
September 2014

High-resolution high-efficiency X-ray imaging system based on the in-line Bragg magnifier and the Medipix detector.

J Synchrotron Radiat 2013 Jan 10;20(Pt 1):153-9. Epub 2012 Nov 10.

ANKA Light Source, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Karlsruhe, Germany.

The performance of a recently developed full-field X-ray micro-imaging system based on an in-line Bragg magnifier is reported. The system is composed of quasi-channel-cut crystals in combination with a Medipix single-photon-counting detector. A theoretical and experimental study of the imaging performance of the crystals-detector combination and a comparison with a standard indirect detector typically used in high-resolution X-ray imaging schemes are reported. The spatial resolution attained by our system is about 0.75 µm, limited only by the current magnification. Compared with an indirect detector system, this system features a better efficiency, signal-to-noise ratio and spatial resolution. The optimal working resolution range of this system is between ∼0.4 µm and 1 µm, filling the gap between transmission X-ray microscopes and indirect detectors. Applications for coherent full-field imaging of weakly absorbing samples are shown and discussed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1107/S0909049512044366DOI Listing
January 2013

Functional morphology and bite performance of raptorial chelicerae of camel spiders (Solifugae).

J Exp Biol 2012 Oct 5;215(Pt 19):3411-8. Epub 2012 Jul 5.

CIBIO, Centro de Investigação em Biodiversidade e Recursos Genéticos, Campus Agrário de Vairão, 4485-661 Vairão, Portugal.

Solifugae are an understudied group of relatively large arachnids with well over 1000 species distributed on almost all major continents. These highly active predators utilize their large chelicerae for feeding, defense, burrowing and mating. We investigated the differences in cheliceral morphology and performance of two ecologically divergent species from North Africa; the cursorial Galeodes sp. and the burrowing Rhagodes melanus. Morphological data show differences in aspect ratio between the two species. Bite force measurements show Rhagodes (N=11) to be a much stronger biter than Galeodes (N=8), in terms of both absolute maximum force (Rhagodes 5.63 N, Galeodes 2.12 N) and force relative to cheliceral size. Synchrotron microtomographs of one specimen for each species reveal large differences in physiological cross-sectional area (PCSA) and estimated muscle stress, resulting in a much higher muscle stress in Rhagodes. This species also showed a longer muscle fiber length. Muscle volume and PCSA were found to differ between the two chelicerae in the two scanned specimens. Whereas Rhagodes reflects this morphological asymmetry in having a higher bite force in the right chelicera, Galeodes shows no such bias.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1242/jeb.072926DOI Listing
October 2012

In-line Bragg magnifier based on V-shaped germanium crystals.

J Synchrotron Radiat 2011 Sep 27;18(Pt 5):753-60. Epub 2011 Jul 27.

ANKA Light Source, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Karlsruhe, Germany.

In this work an X-ray imaging system based on a recently developed in-line two-dimensional Bragg magnifier composed of two monolithic V-shaped crystals made of dislocation-free germanium is presented. The channel-cut crystals were used in one-dimensional and in two-dimensional (crossed) configurations in imaging applications and allowed measurement of phase-contrast radiograms both in the edge-enhanced and in the holographic regimes. The measurement of the phase gradient in two orthogonal directions is demonstrated. The effective pixel size attained was 0.17 µm in the one-dimensional configuration and 0.5 µm in the two-dimensional setting, offering a twofold improvement in spatial resolution over devices based on silicon. These results show the potential for applying Bragg magnifiers to imaging soft matter at high resolution with reduced dose owing to the higher efficiency of Ge compared with Si.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1107/S090904951102989XDOI Listing
September 2011

A biological screw in a beetle's leg.

Science 2011 Jul;333(6038):52

ANKA-Institute for Synchrotron Radiation, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, D-76344 Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen, Germany.

The coxa-trochanteral joints on the legs of the weevil Trigonopterus oblongus (Pascoe) work as a biological screw-and-nut system. The apical portions of the coxae closely resemble nuts with well-defined inner threads covering 345°. The corresponding trochanters have perfectly compatible external spiral threads of 410°.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1204245DOI Listing
July 2011