Scanning Microscopy


Oat hulls and dry-milled corn bran were loaded with calcium or potassium and made into either sectioned bulk specimens of intact tissue embedded in resin or into non-sectioned bulk specimens made from powdered-compressed tissue formed into disks without resin. Regression lines of X-ray count versus mineral concentration were similar for both Ca and K. X-ray count versus mineral concentration relationships were similar for intact oat hulls and powdered-compressed specimens of either oat hulls or corn bran. However, the relationship for intact corn bran embedded in resin was significantly different. While the reason for this difference is not known, the result emphasizes the importance of using a proper "calibration" matrix to relate mineral concentration in biological material with X-ray count values. The standard error in slope of the regression lines, 0.07 and 0.08 for corn bran and oat hull, respectively, embedded in aged epoxy resin suggest that X-ray counts from these specimens allow one to estimate Ca or K concentration with a standard deviation of ± 10%. X-ray counts of Ca, K, and Cl in specimens embedded in epoxy resin decreased to stable values approximately four weeks after the resin was cured.

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