Bone Metal Detection via Compact DD Neutron Generator System

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Accumulation of metals in the human body poses variable health risks. Manganese (Mn) has been estimated in the past from blood, serum, urine, hair, and toenails, but these biomarkers are limited because they don't show long term cumulative exposure assessment to the metal. In addition, analysis of whole blood is variable in the human population and is not significantly associated with Mn-induced toxicity. MRI imaging technologies have been made to quantify Mn in brain tissue, but this technology is limited since Mn is released from the brain after a short time, and therefore, only shows recent Mn exposure.

Researchers at Purdue University have developed a deuterium-deuterium (DD) neutron generator-based activation analysis (NAA) system that would quantify metals, such as manganese, in the bone in vivo. The apparatus works when neutrons interact with 55Mn and produce 56Mn, which decays to 56Fe (iron) and emits y-rays (gamma rays). These y-rays can then be collected by a y-ray detection system and the intensity/count would correlate to the concentration of Mn that is present in the bone. Since this technology uses the bone, a long term storage organ for Mn in humans, it is a valuable biomarker for Mn cumulative exposure. This technology uses a compact DD neutron generator, which reduces space and complications that come from large accelerators, making it mobile/transportable.

This technology has potential use in the non-invasive quantification and monitoring of Mn exposure for cardiovascular, liver, reproductive, and developmental issues, and therefore, would prevent any progressive and permanent neurological damage that is associated with chronic Mn toxicity. This is an effective platform for imaging; future work with this technology could involve detection of other elements that are found in the human body.

-Efficient compact generator
-Manganese detection
-Diagnostic imaging use

Potential Applications:
-Medical Imaging
Dec 21, 2015
Utility Patent
United States

Dec 19, 2014
United States
Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization
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