Evaluation of cryoanalysis as a tool for analyzing elemental distribution in "live" tardigrades using micro-PIXE

E. J. C. Nilsson, Jan Pallon, W. J. Przybylowicz, Y. D. Wang, K. I. Jonsson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (SciVal)


Although heavy on labor and equipment, thus not often applied, cryoanalysis of frozen hydrated biological specimens can provide information that better reflects the living state of the organism, compared with analysis in the freeze-dried state. In this paper we report a study where the cryoanalysis facility with cryosectioning capabilities at Materials Research Department, iThemba LABS, South Africa was employed to evaluate the usefulness of combining three ion beam analytical methods (mu PIXE, RBS and STIM) to analyze a biological target where a better elemental compositional description is needed - the tardigrade. Imaging as well as quantification results are of interest. In a previous study, the element composition and redistribution of elements in the desiccated and active states of two tardigrade species was investigated. This study included analysis of both whole and sectioned tardigrades, and the aim was to analyze each specimen twice; first frozen hydrated and later freeze-dried. The combination of the three analytical techniques proved useful: elements from C to Rb in the tardigrades could be determined and certain differences in distribution of elements between the frozen hydrated and the freeze-dried states were observed. RBS on frozen hydrated specimens provided knowledge of matrix elements. (C) 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-186
JournalNuclear Instruments & Methods in Physics Research. Section B: Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Bibliographical note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015.
The record was previously connected to the following departments: Nuclear Physics (Faculty of Technology) (011013007)

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Subatomic Physics


  • PIXE
  • Micro-PIXE
  • Tardigrades
  • Elemental distribution
  • Cryoanalysis
  • Cryosectioning


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