Howell, PGT; Boyde, A; (1999) Surface roughness of preparations for backscattered electron-scanning electron microscopy: The image differences and their Monte Carlo simulation. SCANNING , 21 (6) 361 - 367.
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Patterns and levels of mineralisation in the biological hard tissues have been studied using the backscattered electron (BSE) mode in the scanning electron microscope (SEM). To prevent gross topographic detail overwhelming changes in signal from composition. samples are embedded in polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) and a flat block surface produced by polishing or micromilling. This study was undertaken to establish the degree of residual topography achieved in these finishing processes. A sample of human rib was embedded in PMMA and prepared, as for examination in the SEM, by polishing on graded abrasives and pre- and, finally, ultramilling. After each preparation step, the block face was imaged using a confocal reflection microscope surface mapping facility. The recorded topographies were used in a Monte Carlo simulation to model the surface interface and thus, for each of the sample preparation techniques, to calculate predicted variations in BSE signal. The latter were compared with experimental data derived under standard operating conditions in the SEM. Micromilling produced block faces with typical peak-trough relief of 80 nm, while hand polishing left occasional scratches 1.5 mu m deep with a general undulation of 150-250 nm. Monte Carlo simulations of a rough surface of bone using these data predicted that additional contrast levels of 5% could be expected from micromilled surfaces and > 10% for hand polished samples of bone. Thus, micromilling is the best preparation method for bone, since this tissue develops a collagen orientation-related relief on polishing, which may be largely responsible for the (incorrect) supposition that lamellation in bone is related to changes in net degree of mineralisation.
|Title:||Surface roughness of preparations for backscattered electron-scanning electron microscopy: The image differences and their Monte Carlo simulation|
|Keywords:||surface roughness, backscattered electrons, bone, mineral variation, confocal microscopy, Monte Carlo modeling, MEAN ATOMIC-NUMBER|
|UCL classification:||UCL > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Biosciences (Division of)|
UCL > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Eastman Dental Institute
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