Ion beam etching effects in biological microanalysis.
Oxygen ion beam sputter etching used in SIMS has been shown to produce morphologic effects which have similarities and differences in comparison to rf plasma etching of biological specimens. For example, selective retention of nuclear and plasma membranes is observed in both cases, however, heterochromatin is preferentially sputtered by O2+ bombardment in SIMS and preferentially preserved during O2 plasma etching. Sputter yield variations resulting from structural microheterogeneity are illustrated (e.g. etch-resistant nucleoli in preferentially etched nuclei), including their impact upon ion image formation in an ion microanalyzer. These image artifacts must be evaluated before secondary ion images revealing subcellular organelles can be related quantitatively to elemental localization in cells or tissues. To minimize gross surface roughness effects such as cone formation induced by ion bombardment, ion imaging studies of thin sections using low primary ion doses are indicated.
Linton, RW; Farmer, ME; Ingram, P; Walker, SR; Shelburne, JD
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