3D and 2D Distribution of Trace Elements in Pathological Human Bone and in Histological Transition Zones – An Approach with Micro and Nano Resolution Elemental Imaging by Synchrotron XRF (FWF Project)


Synchrotron Radiation Micro/Nano X-ray fluorescence spectrometry (SR-μ/nXRF) analysis is used for the determination of lateral distribution and levels of major, minor and trace elements in human bone. The possible lateral resolutions range from the 100 μm down to the 30 nm. As XRF is a multi-element technique, correlations with other elements present in the samples can be simultaneously determined.


Project aims:

  • Analysis of Mn distribution and concentration using SR-μXRF from osteoporotic femoral heads and comparison with bone samples from healthy individuals of the same age group to reveal a possible link between osteoporosis and Mn content.
  • Investigation of suspected changes in Zn distribution of healing osteoporotic fractures, for that purpose, biopsies of osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures will be used.
  • Determination of Zn and Pb distribution with new nanometer resolution beams and speciation (using XANES) of Zn and Pb in the transition zone between different phases of cartilage (tidemark) in osteoarthritis
  • Analysis of distribution and speciation of trace elements (especially Zn and Fe) to determine the types of chemical bindings of these elements in osteosarcoma samples.
  • Development of a quantification method for bone samples in comparison with TOF-SIMS and LA-ICP-MS.