Use of the nuclear microprobe at the University of Arizona for the study of heavy metal deposition in rabbit renal tissue

R. L. Keith, A. J. Gandolfi, L. C. McIntyre, M. D. Ashbaugh, Q. Fernando

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Industrial wastes consigned to disposal sites frequently contain substantial amounts of heavy metals. We have successfully applied proton induced X-ray emission analysis (PIXE) in the conduct of heavy metal (Hg, Cd, Cr, As) toxicity studies using precision cut rabbit renal cortical slices. The large beam diameter (4000 μm) of the proton macroprobe at The University of Arizona Ion Beam Analysis facility allowed an overall concentration of the metal(s) of interest in the samples to be determined, but lacked the ability to resolve point concentrations in the tissue. The ability to locate these areas has now been made available to us with the addition of a rastering microprobe (μ-PIXE) to the facility. Studies now being conducted in our laboratory using this micro-technique include analysis of renal tissue taken from rabbits injected intraperitoneally with HgCl2, K2Cr2O7, and NaAsO2. The small beam size (3 μm) and the ability to raster this beam over areas of up to 125 μm × 125 μm has allowed regional mapping of endogenous and non-endogenous metal concentrations and revealed trends in heavy metal deposition in in vivo treated renal tissue, significantly increasing the amount of information obtained from these animal studies using PIXE alone. The combination of small beam size, high resolution, and multi-element detection makes μ-PIXE a powerful tool for investigating the impact of non-endogenous metals on the kidney.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)358-361
Number of pages4
JournalNuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section B: Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms
Issue number1-4
StatePublished - Jul 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Instrumentation


Dive into the research topics of 'Use of the nuclear microprobe at the University of Arizona for the study of heavy metal deposition in rabbit renal tissue'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this