Dietary iron-loaded rat liver haemosiderin and ferritin : in situ measurement of iron core nanoparticle size and cluster structure using anomalous small-angle x-ray scattering

Eliza Bovell, C.E. Buckley, Wanida Chua-Anusorn, D. Cookson, N. Kirby, Martin Saunders, Tim St Pierre

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The morphology, particle size distribution and cluster structure of the hydrated iron(III) oxyhydroxide particles associated with haemosiderin and ferritin in dietary iron-loaded rat liver tissue have been investigated using transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and anomalous small-angle x-ray scattering (ASAXS). Rat liver tissue was removed from a series of female Porton rats which had been fed an iron-rich diet until sacrifice at various ages from 2–24 months. Hepatic iron concentrations ranged from 1 to 65 mg Fe g−1 dry tissue. TEM studies showed both dispersed and clustered iron-containing nanoparticles. The dispersed particles were found to have mean sizes (±standard deviation) of 54 ± 8 Å for the iron-loaded animals and 55 ± 7 Å for the controls. Superposition of particles in TEM images prevented direct measurement of nanoparticulate size in the clusters. The ASAXS data were modelled to provide a quantitative estimate of both the size and spacing of iron oxyhydroxide particles in the bulk samples. The modelling yielded close-packed particles with sizes of 60 to 78 Å which when corrected for anomalous scattering suggests sizes from 54 to 70 Å. Particle size distributions are of particular importance since they determine the surface iron to core iron ratios, which in turn are expected to be related to the molar toxicity of iron deposits in cells.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1209-1221
JournalPhysics in Medicine and Biology
Volume54
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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