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  • On the potential of combining neutron activation analysis and particle induced X-ray emission (PIXE) for micro- and microdistribution analysis of hard metals in human tissues

Abstract

This work proposes a combination of sophisticated analytical techniques such as neutron activation analysis (NAA), currently applied to the determination of the total concentration of more than 30 elements in biological specimens, and PIXE analysis, particularly microPIXE, which has great potential for microdistribution analysis in small biological samples. NAA determination of hard metals in lung tissue are carried out by neutron irradiation in the HFR at Petten. After neutron activation, radiochemical separation of 60Co, 187W, 182Ta and 51Cr followed by computer-based high resolution gamma ray spectrometry allow the measurement of these elements in pulmonary tissues with sensitivities ranging from 1.0 E-4 micro-g (Cr) to 1.0 E-6 micro-g (W). The PIXE technique is multielemental and of relatively high sensitivity, thus allowing the analysis of parts of needle biopsies, whereas its usefulness is limited in the total samples analysis for cobalt-related hard metal disease, due to the low levels of cobalt in tissue combined with severe element interferences from iron. Nevertheless, microPIXE could achieve a microdistribution analysis of hard metals (including cobalt) in suitable thin tissue sections.

Additional information

Authors: PIETRA R, JRC Ispra (IT);SABBIONI E, JRC Ispra (IT);WÄTJEN U, JRC Geel (BE);GALLORINI M, CRAA, CNR, Pavia (IT);TARTAGLIA G P, JRC Petten (NL)
Bibliographic Reference: Paper presented: European Congress : Cobalt and Hard Metal Disease, Bergamo (IT), March 12-13, 1992
Availability: Available from (1) as Paper EN 36659 ORA
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