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Issue 1, 2011
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Trace metal imaging with high spatial resolution: Applications in biomedicine

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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.

Graphical abstract: Trace metal imaging with high spatial resolution: Applications in biomedicine

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Publication details

The article was received on 14 Sep 2010, accepted on 04 Nov 2010 and first published on 07 Dec 2010


Article type: Critical Review
DOI: 10.1039/C0MT00048E
Citation: Metallomics, 2011,3, 28-37
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    Trace metal imaging with high spatial resolution: Applications in biomedicine

    Z. Qin, J. A. Caruso, B. Lai, A. Matusch and J. S. Becker, Metallomics, 2011, 3, 28
    DOI: 10.1039/C0MT00048E

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