Synchrotron Nano X-ray Radiation Fluorescence Spectrometry of Human Bone

01.04.2015 - 30.11.2018

3D and 2D Distribution of Trace Elements in Pathological Human Bone and in Histological Transition Zones – An Approach with Micro and Nano Resolution Elemental Imaging by Synchrotron XRF

Recent studies indicated the importance of trace elements in normal biological processes as well as disease states. By combining the fields of physics, biology and medicine in a multidisciplinary research we will improve our understanding of the role of trace elements in mineralized tissue. Within the frame of the previous FWF project P21905-N20 “Synchrotron Micro X-Ray Fluorescence Imaging of Trace Elements in Articular Cartilage and Bone in Health and Disease” the use of synchrotron radiation combined with a confocal Microscopic X-ray fluorescence analysis (µXRF) setup proved to be an ideal instrumentation to determine the distribution of the trace elements lead, zinc, strontium and calcium in human bone and cartilage.

In this new project the method should be extended by cutting-edge instrumentation to nano-XRF and nano-imaging on the experimental side and applied to other bone diseases, such as bone cancer, as well as bone healing. This will be done using the well-established cooperation with the Ludwig Boltzmann-Institute for Osteology and clinical collaborators.

The aims of this project are
Regarding the number of men and women with osteoporosis in the EU will grow from 28 million in 2010 to 34 million in 2025. This leads to escalating prevalence rate of disease and severe disability and present a grand economic problem.

PCA evaluation and clustering will be applied. Elemental maps will be correlated with backscattered electron images of the investigated region.

Our research will shed light on the potential role of trace element in the pathogenesis of osteoarthritis, osteoporosis and bone tumor. Moreover, we intend to gain further insight into the role of trace elements in bio-mineralization.






  • FWF - Österr. Wissenschaftsfonds (National) Einzelprojekt Fonds zur Förderung der wissenschaftlichen Forschung (FWF) Ausschreibungskennung P27715-N20


  • Materials and Matter


osteoporosis osteoporosis
RöntgenfluoreszenzanalyseX-ray fluorescence analysis

Externe Partner_innen

  • Ludwig-Boltzmann Gesellschaft