Assessment of Proton Microbeam Analysis of 11B for Quantitative Microdistribution Analysis of Boronated Neutron Capture Agents in Biological Tissues

Graham Bench, Patrick G. Grant, Dawn L. Ueda, Susan A. Autry-Conwell, Yongjin Hou, James E Boggan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The 11B(p,α)8Be* nuclear reaction was assessed for its ability to quantitatively map the in vivo subcellular distribution of boron within gliosarcomas treated with a boronated neutron capture therapy agent. Intracranial 9L gliosarcomas were produced in Fischer 344 rats. Fourteen days later, the majority of the rats were treated with f-boronophenylalanine and killed humanely 30 or 180 min after intravenous injection. Freeze-dried tumor cryosections were imaged using the 11B(p,α)8Be* nuclear reaction and proton microbeams obtained from the nuclear microprobe at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. The 11B distributions within cells could be imaged quantitatively with spatial resolutions down to 1.5 μm, minimum detection limits of 0.8 mg/kg, and acquisition times of several hours. These capabilities offer advantages over α-particle track autoradiography, electron energy loss spectroscopy, and secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) for quantification of 11B in tissues. However, the spatial resolution, multi-isotope capability, and analysis times achieved with SIMS are superior to those achieved with 11B(p,α)8Be* analysis. When accuracy in quantification is crucial, the 11B(p,α) 8Be* reaction is well suited for assessing the microdistribution of 11B. Otherwise, SIMS may well be better suited to image the microdistribution of boron associated with neutron capture therapy agents in biological tissues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)667-676
Number of pages10
JournalRadiation Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Biophysics
  • Radiation


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