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J Histochem Cytochem. 2000 Nov;48(11):1503-10.

Bismuth autometallography: protocol, specificity, and differentiation.

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Department of Neurobiology, Institute of Anatomy, University of Aarhus, Denmark.


We provide a detailed protocol of the autometallographic bismuth technique and evaluate the specificity of the technique. We show by the multi-element technique "proton-induced X-ray microanalysis" (PIXE) that the autometallographic grains contain silver, bismuth, and sulfur, proving that autometallography can be used for specific tracing of bismuth bound as bismuth sulfide clusters in tissue sections from Bi-exposed animals or humans. In sections from animals exposed concurrently to selenium and bismuth, the autometallographic grains also contain selenium. This demonstrates that, if present in excess in the organisms, selenium will bind to exogenous bismuth, creating bismuth selenide clusters. As a further possible control for specificity and as a tool for differentiating among autometallographically detectable metals in sections containing more than one, we describe how bismuth sulfide clusters can be removed from Epon-embedded tissue sections by potassium cyanide.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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