Scanning Microscopy


Proton induced X-ray emission (PIXE) analysis is a comparatively new member of the family of spectrographic methods. In the last decade PIXE techniques have been applied to biological problems with great success. This review gives a condensed presentation of recent developments in biological (medical, zoological, and botanical) applications of PIXE analysis with special focus on factors which commonly influence the results, such as calibration, contamination, and preparation. The great advantage of PIXE analysis in studying physiologically important trace elements such as Zn, Mg, Fe, and Cu is underlined. Elemental mapping not only allows quantitative elemental analysis, but can also demonstrate the important differences in the morphological distributions of elements by comparing normal and pathological tissue.

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