Soft tissue measurement of arsenic and selenium in an animal model using portable X-ray fluorescence

David E.B. Fleming, John W. Groves, Mihai R. Gherase, Graham N. George, Ingrid J. Pickering, Olena Ponomarenko, George Langan, Julian E. Spallholz, Mohammad Alauddin, Habibul Ahsan, Selim Ahmed, Paul F. La Porte

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


The ingestion of trace amounts of arsenic (As) through drinking water is a relatively common pathway of exposure with potentially serious long-term health effects. Studies involving animal models have indicated that selenium (Se) may bind with As inside the body and facilitate excretion. A portable X-ray fluorescence (XRF) technique was previously developed to allow in vivo measurement of As and Se in human tissue. In the current paper, this portable XRF approach was tested for the first time using animal tissue. Seven female Lakeview Golden/LVG Syrian hamsters were dosed under either control, As-only, Se-only, or As and Se conditions. Minimum XRF detection limits in soft tissue of 1.00±0.05. ppm for As and 0.83±0.02. ppm for Se were determined from phantom calibration trials. For dosed hamsters, consistently higher concentrations of As and Se were found in the liver and gall bladder, with elevated levels also observed in the intestines. Concentrations ranged up to 26.4±1.4. ppm for As and 11.8±0.8. ppm for Se. The stomach and heart exhibited more moderate concentrations, while the brain, lung, and muscle demonstrated lower levels. For a given organ, As concentrations generally exceeded Se concentrations. A ratio of approximately 2.5:1 was observed for concentrations of As:Se when considering the same or similar tissue sites in dosed hamsters. Implications for potential in vivo human applications of the technique are briefly considered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)241-247
Number of pages7
JournalRadiation Physics and Chemistry
StatePublished - Nov 1 2015


  • Arsenic
  • Portable X-ray fluorescence
  • Selenium


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