Table of Contents
Journal of Biophysics
Volume 2015, Article ID 740751, 7 pages
Review Article

The Review of Nuclear Microscopy Techniques: An Approach for Nondestructive Trace Elemental Analysis and Mapping of Biological Materials

Louisiana Accelerator Center, Department of Physics, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Broussard Hall No. 115, Lafayette, LA 70504, USA

Received 25 August 2015; Revised 10 October 2015; Accepted 2 November 2015

Academic Editor: Andrei B. Rubin

Copyright © 2015 Stephen Juma Mulware. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The properties of many biological materials often depend on the spatial distribution and concentration of the trace elements present in a matrix. Scientists have over the years tried various techniques including classical physical and chemical analyzing techniques each with relative level of accuracy. However, with the development of spatially sensitive submicron beams, the nuclear microprobe techniques using focused proton beams for the elemental analysis of biological materials have yielded significant success. In this paper, the basic principles of the commonly used microprobe techniques of STIM, RBS, and PIXE for trace elemental analysis are discussed. The details for sample preparation, the detection, and data collection and analysis are discussed. Finally, an application of the techniques to analysis of corn roots for elemental distribution and concentration is presented.