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An Investigation of the Correlation Between Human Diseases and Trace Element Levels by Proton-Induced X-Ray Emission Analysis*

  • R. D. Lear (a1), H. A. Van Rinsvelt (a1) and W. R. Adams (a2)


The proton beam from the 4 MV Van de Graaff at the University of Florida has been used in conjunction with a 5 mm thick lithium drifted silicon, Si (Li), x-ray detector to do elemental analysis of biomedical samples by proton-induced x-ray emission (PIXE). Several hundred samples, mostly autopsy organs ashed at high, temperature, have been analyzed by this method. The main object of the research is the correlation between human diseases and trace element levels. The target mass has been determined by monitoring the elastically scattered protons from the sample. This technique considerably reduces the target preparation time by eliminating careful weighings or doping of each individual sample.



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Supported in part by grants GM20281-01 and GM20282-01 from the National Institutes of Health.



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1. Bearse, R. C., Close, D. A., Malanify, J. J. and Umbarger, C. J., “Elemental Analysis of Whole Blood Using Proton-Induced X-Ray Emission,” Analytical Chemistry 46,499503 (1974).
2. Friberg, L. T., Piscator, M. and Nordberg, G. F., in Weast, R. C., Editor, Cadmium in the Environment, p. 55, CRC Press (1971).
3. Smythe, W. R., private communication.


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