Scanning Electron Microscopy


The elemental content of anagen hair fibers in a Caucasian population of healthy females and males in the age range 10-69 years was performed to constitute a baseline for further studies of pathological conditions. Proton induced X-ray emission (PIXE) analyses were performed on single hair fibers in triplicates from 103 individuals in order to determine sulfur, zinc, calcium, and chlorine content. The hair fibers were all anagen hairs collected from a site little influenced by genetic and hormonal influences 1.5 cm above the right ear of the probands.

An area 5-8 mm from the follicle bottom was chosen for minimize effect the of analysis in all cases hair-do contamination. The average sulfur content was 0.049 g/g and the average zinc content 170 μg/g. These results were not significantly influenced by chloroform/ethanol rinsing before analysis. The calcium and chlorine contents were 330 μg/g and 0.0033 g/g respectively. The latter data are expected to be more seriously influenced by external factors (e.g., contamination) than sulfur and zinc. No correlation between elemental concentration and sex was found for sulfur and zinc in the present material. PIXE analysis of single hair fibers yields valuable information on the elemental composition of hair fibers and can be rapidly and efficiently performed after simple mounting procedures.

Included in

Biology Commons