New techniques for imaging and analyzing lung tissue.
The recent technological revolution in the field of imaging techniques has provided pathologists and toxicologists with an expanding repertoire of analytical techniques for studying the interaction between the lung and the various exogenous materials to which it is exposed. Analytical problems requiring elemental sensitivity or specificity beyond the range of that offered by conventional scanning electron microscopy and energy dispersive X-ray analysis are particularly appropriate for the application of these newer techniques. Electron energy loss spectrometry, Auger electron spectroscopy, secondary ion mass spectrometry, and laser microprobe mass analysis each offer unique advantages in this regard, but also possess their own limitations and disadvantages. Diffraction techniques provide crystalline structural information available through no other means. Bulk chemical techniques provide useful cross-checks on the data obtained by microanalytical approaches. It is the purpose of this review to summarize the methodology of these techniques, acknowledge situations in which they have been used in addressing problems in pulmonary toxicology, and comment on the relative advantages and disadvantages of each approach. It is necessary for an investigator to weigh each of these factors when deciding which technique is best suited for any given analytical problem; often it is useful to employ a combination of two or more of the techniques discussed. It is anticipated that there will be increasing utilization of these technologies for problems in pulmonary toxicology in the decades to come.
Roggli, VL; Ingram, P; Linton, RW; Gutknecht, WF; Mastin, P; Shelburne, JD
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