Scanning Microscopy


Monitoring of the corneal electrolyte content is important for the study of chemical eye burns. This paper describes quantitative measurements on gelatin standards, corneas and a cornea homogenate with an energy dispersive X-ray analyzer (EDX) in the scanning electron microscope (SEM). Ten micrometers thick cryosections were freeze-dried and mounted on solid carbon supports. The applied quantification procedure was a local peak background analysis with a specifically designed computer program. Similar chemical and physical properties of gelatin, cornea homogenate, and cornea were proven by EDX-analysis and wet chemical analysis. Gelatin standards with known concentrations of different added salts showed linear correlations with a correlation coefficient higher than 0.95 for all considered elements. The local background generation on carbon supports was the same for gelatin standards and corneal tissue. The results demonstrate that quantitative EDX analysis of semi-thin samples, mounted on neutral carbon supports, can be reliably used for the assessment of the corneal mineral composition.

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