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  • 1 University of Helsinki Department of Medical Physics Siltavuorenpenger 10 SF-00170 Helsinki 17 (Finland)
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Proton-induced prompt gamma-ray emission (PIGE) analysis has been used for the determination of light elements in human dense bone samples. Li, B, N, O, F, Na, Mg, Al, P and Ca peaks were detected. Smoothed, freeze-dried samples were irradiated in vacuo by 2.4 MeV protons and the induced prompt gamma rays recorded with a 110 cm3 Ge(Li) detector. Absolute concentrations were calculated on the basis of both calibration standards and pure element gamma-ray yields. The mean (±1 S. D.) concentrations as ppm or weight % obtained for 15 dense bone samples were: B 8.0 (3.3)ppm, N 12.2 (0.8)%, O 34.8 (2.3)%, F 639 (417)ppm, Na 5763 (371)ppm, Mg 2078 (290)ppm, P 9.26 (0.50)% and Ca 20.4 (1.3)%. The detection limits obtained without any prior concentration of the bone samples were: 0.3 ppm for Li, 2.0 ppm for B, 1.0% for N, 1.0% for O, 1.0 ppm for F, 3.0 ppm for Na, 50 ppm for Mg, 22 ppm for Al, 600 ppm for P and 0.8% for Ca. Detection limits for other light elements (4≤Z≤21) have also been estimated.