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Publication Detail

Title: High-resolution elemental mapping of human placental chorionic villi using synchrotron X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy.

Authors: Punshon, Tracy; Chen, Si; Finney, Lydia; Howard, Louisa; Jackson, Brian P; Karagas, Margaret R; Ornvold, Kim

Published In Anal Bioanal Chem, (2015 Sep)

Abstract: The placenta is the organ that mediates transport of nutrients and waste materials between mother and fetus. Synchrotron X-ray fluorescence (SXRF) microanalysis is a tool for imaging the distribution and quantity of elements in biological tissue, which can be used to study metal transport across biological membranes. Our aims were to pilot placental biopsy specimen preparation techniques that could be integrated into an ongoing epidemiology birth cohort study without harming rates of sample acquisition. We studied the effects of fixative (formalin or glutaraldehyde) and storage duration (30 days or immediate processing) on metal distribution and abundance and investigated a thaw-fixation protocol for archived specimens stored at -80 °C. We measured fixative elemental composition with and without a placental biopsy via inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) to quantify fixative-induced elemental changes. Formalin-fixed specimens showed hemolysis of erythrocytes. The glutaraldehyde-paraformaldehyde solution in HEPES buffer (GTA-HEPES) had superior anatomical preservation, avoided hemolysis, and minimized elemental loss, although some cross-linking of exogenous Zn was evident. Elemental loss from tissue stored in fixative for 1 month showed variable losses (≈40 % with GTA-HEPES), suggesting storage duration be controlled for. Thawing of tissue held at -80 °C in a GTA-HEPES solution provided high-quality visual images and elemental images.

PubMed ID: 26138895 Exiting the NIEHS site

MeSH Terms: Chorionic Villi/chemistry*; Female; Humans; Male; Metals/analysis*; Pregnancy; Reproducibility of Results; Sensitivity and Specificity; Spectrometry, X-Ray Emission/instrumentation; Spectrometry, X-Ray Emission/methods*; Synchrotrons*

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