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Energy Dispersive Spectra of Particles in Each Field of View


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Lowers, H.A., Breit, G.N., Pillers, R.M., Meeker, G.P., and Wolf, R.E., 2016, Particulate Matter Identification in Lung Tissue from Deployers, Positive, and Negative controls Using Scanning Electron Microscopy and Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (2013-2016): U.S. Geological Survey data release,


We developed and tested a new method for in situ characterization and distribution of inorganic particles in biopsied lung tissue from three diverse human subject groups using field emission scanning electron microscopy with an energy dispersive analyzer. A backscattered electron image of each frame was acquired to locate inorganic particulate matter. The electron beam was deflected to points on the particles in the field of view to acquire an energy dispersive spectrum. The acquired spectra were used to identify the particle type.


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This project served to support a Department of Defense Grant lead by Dr. Cecile Rose at National Jewish Health titled Development of a Morphometric Approach to Quantification of Small Airways Disease and Particulate Matter Exposure Profiles in Lung Biopsies of Deployed US Military Personnel (Award number W81XWH-11-1-0216). The purpose of this project was to develop an in situ method to document and identify inorganic particulate matter in small sample volumes of lung biopsy sections from three study cohorts: deployed service members to Iraq and Afghanistan, a normal age- and smoking-matched control group, and an autoimmune control group. The identified phases were cataloged to assess if the relative abundance of identified phases from three study cohorts was statistically different. This data release provides a repository of images and chemistry of the identified inorganic particulate matter in a wide range of subjects that may be accessed by toxicologists, public health officials, pulmonologists, atmospheric scientists, and others interested in particulate matter in the air and body.

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