Author: N. Ward 1
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  • 1 Imperial College at Silwood Park Reactor Centre SL5 7PY Ascot Berkshire (England)
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A prompt-gamma neutron activation technique has been developed using the (n, ) apparatus situated at the O degree through-tube of the Imperial College CONSORT II Reactor with a thermal neutron flux at the target position of approximately 2×106 n cm–2 sec–1, and a Compton-suppression system involving a lithium-drifted germanium (Ge(Li)) detector and a sodium iodide anti-Compton shield. Boron levels of 1–5 g g–1 (detection limit 0.05 g B for 10,000 sec period of measurement) can be attained using the Compton-suppression system with graphical inter-polation correction for the 472 keV sodium-ray peak contribution to the Doppler-broadened 478 keV boron gamma-ray peak resulting from the10B(n, )7Li reaction. Very good agreement is reached for boron levels compared using this system for various Standard Reference Materials and other published values. Measurement of the boron content of bone and tooth samples from rheumatoid arthritis individuals shows lower levels, (p<0.05); 16.13±7.53 g g–1, when compared with a control population; 19.79±4.18 g g–1. A positive correlation existed between the boron content of bone and tooth material for each study group. Results indicate that boron availability may be associated with rheumatoid arthritis.