Biological Trace Element Research

, 13:103

Elemental analysis using differential absorption techniques


  • H. Rarback
    • National Synchrotron Light SourceBrookhaven National Laboratory
  • F. Cinotti
    • National Synchrotron Light SourceBrookhaven National Laboratory
  • C. Jacobsen
    • Department of PhysicsSUNY
  • J. M. Kenney
    • Department of PhysicsSUNY
  • J. Kirz
    • Department of PhysicsSUNY
  • R. Rosser
    • Department of PhysicsSUNY
Localization of Trace Elements

DOI: 10.1007/BF02796625

Cite this article as:
Rarback, H., Cinotti, F., Jacobsen, C. et al. Biol Trace Elem Res (1987) 13: 103. doi:10.1007/BF02796625


X-ray differential absorption microanalysis is presented as a technique for trace element analysis of hydrated biological specimens of about 0.1–5 μm thickness. For the study of the light elements (Z≲20), the absorption technique minimizes the radiation dose and, thus, damage to such specimens when compared with X-ray fluorescence. A Scanning Transmission X-ray Microscope (SXTM) is described, which has been used to map the concentration of calcium in bone with better than 300 nm spatial resolution and a sensitivity to 5% calcium by weight. Future plans are briefly discussed that offer the hope of achieving 0.1% trace element sensitivity and 75 nm spatial resolution.

Index Entries

X-ray absorption microanalysisX-ray microscopybiological microanalysiscalcium distributionbone
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© The Humana Press Inc 1987