Scanning Electron Microscopy


Within the endometrial cavity intrauterine contraceptive devices (IUDs) become encrusted with cellular, acellular, and fibrillar substances. Scanning electron microscopy was used to study the crust. Cellular material consisted mainly of blood cells and various types of bacteria. The fibrillar material appeared to be fibrin which was omnipresent in the crust and formed a thin layer immediately over the IUD surface. X-ray microanalysis of the acellular component of the crust revealed the presence of calcium. No other major peaks were identified. Near the IUD surface characteristic calcium phosphate crystals were present. Their microanalysis showed peaks for calcium and phosphorus. X-ray diffraction of the crust however, showed it to contain only calcite. It is through the use of scanning electron microscopy that calcium phosphate has been detected in the IUD crust and a fibrillar layer has been visualized on the IUD surface. This study further demonstrates the effectiveness of SEM analytical techniques in the area of biomedical research.

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