Correlations of trace elements in breast human tissues: Evaluation of spatial distribution using μ-XRF

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The aim of this work is to investigate microscopic correlations between trace elements in breast human tissues. A synchrotron X-ray fluorescence microprobe system (μ-XRF) was used to obtain two-dimensional distribution of trace element Ca, Fe, Cu and Zn in normal (6 samples) and malignant (14 samples) breast tissues. The experiment was performed in X-ray Fluorescence beam line at Laboratório Nacional de Luz Síncrotron (LNLS), Campinas, Brazil. The white microbeam was generated with a fine conical capillary with a 20 μm output diameter. The samples were supported on a XYZ table. An optical microscope with motorized zoom was used for sample positioning and choice the area to be scanned. Automatic two-dimensional scans were programmed and performed with steps of 30 μm in each direction (x, y) on the selected area. The fluorescence signals were recorded using a Si(Li) detector, positioned at 90 degrees with respect to the incident beam, with a collection time of 10 s per point. The elemental maps obtained from each sample were overlap to observe correlation between trace elements. Qualitative results showed that the pairs of elements Ca-Zn and Fe-Cu could to be correlated in malignant breast tissues. Quantitative results, achieved by Spearman correlation tests, indicate that there is a spatial correlation between these pairs of elements (p < 0.001) suggesting the importance of these elements in metabolic processes associated with the development of the tumor.





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AIP Conference Proceedings, v. 1437, p. 45-49, 2012.

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