Trace metal imaging with high spatial resolution: Applications in biomedicine

Zhenyu Qin, Joseph A. Caruso, Barry Lai, Andreas Matusch, J. Sabine Becker

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

120 Scopus citations

Abstract

New generations of analytical techniques for imaging of metals are pushing hitherto boundaries of spatial resolution and quantitative analysis in biology. Because of this, the application of these imaging techniques described herein to the study of the organization and dynamics of metal cations and metal-containing biomolecules in biological cell and tissue is becoming an important issue in biomedical research. In the current review, three common metal imaging techniques in biomedical research are introduced, including synchrotron X-ray fluorescence (SXRF) microscopy, secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS), and laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS). These are exemplified by a demonstration of the dopamine-Fe complexes, by assessment of boron distribution in a boron neutron capture therapy cell model, by mapping Cu and Zn in human brain cancer and a rat brain tumor model, and by the analysis of metal topography within neuromelanin. These studies have provided solid evidence that demonstrates that the sensitivity, spatial resolution, specificity, and quantification ability of metal imaging techniques is suitable and highly desirable for biomedical research. Moreover, these novel studies on the nanometre scale (e.g., of individual single cells or cell organelles) will lead to a better understanding of metal processes in cells and tissues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)28-37
Number of pages10
JournalMetallomics
Volume3
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)
  • Biophysics
  • Biomaterials
  • Biochemistry
  • Metals and Alloys

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