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International Journal of Morphology

On-line version ISSN 0717-9502


FIGUEROA, R. G; LOZANO, E  and  FLORES, M. A. Images of X-Ray Fluorescence in Human Bones and Their Potential Application in vivo. Int. J. Morphol. [online]. 2011, vol.29, n.3, pp.1000-1006. ISSN 0717-9502.

The knowledge of the concentration and spatial distribution that chemical elements present in different organs and tissues is a useful parameter for diagnosis of certain diseases or element levels above limits accepted as healthy. Therefore, development of techniques to identify the chemical elements present in a living tissue and obtaining information about their concentration and spatial distribution might be relevant to determine an individual's health status. This work presents an application of a new X-ray fluorescence technique, energy dispersive by scanning, which can be applied to samples of different composition and shape, unlike most of the existing techniques, only applicable to flat samples. This technique allows the acquisition of two-dimensional images of the chemical elements present in a sample in both mono and multi-elemental mode. In this work the technique is applied to a set of human bone samples and tarsus and fingers of a dead Gallus gallus (chicken), obtaining a 2D spatial distribution with different levels of fluorescence intensity, depending on the detected element and its concentration. The acquired images consider areas up to 104 mm2, with a spatial resolution of 400 mm2 and an acquisition time of about 20 min. Calculations of the radiation dose associated with this type of XRF analysis were also carried out, and the findings show that the levels applied to obtain an XRF image are tolerable. The latter leads to the conclusion that it would be possible to use this technique for an in vivo application.

Keywords : Bones XRF images; in vivo XRF.

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