Customized compact neutron activation analysis system to quantify manganese (Mn) in bone in vivo

Yingzi Liu, Farshad Mostafaei, Daniel Sowers, Mindy Hsieh, Wei Zheng, Linda H. Nie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Objective: In the US alone, millions of workers, including over 300 000 welders, are at high risk of occupational manganese (Mn) exposure. Those who have been chronically exposed to excessive amount of Mn can develop severe neurological disorders similar, but not identical, to the idiopathic Parkinson's disease. One challenge of identifing the health effects of Mn exposure is to find a reliable biomarker for exposure assessment, especially for long-term cumulative exposure. Approach: Mn's long biological half-life as well as its relatively high concentration in bone makes bone Mn (BnMn) a potentially valuable biomarker for Mn exposure. Our group has been working on the development of a deuterium-deuterium (D-D)-based neutron generator to quantify Mn in bone in vivo. Main results and significance: In this paper, we report the latest advancements in our system. With a customized hand irradiation assembly, a fully characterized high purity germanium (HPGe) detector system, and an acceptable hand dose of 36 mSv, a detection limit of 0.64g Mn/g bone (ppm) has been achieved.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)452-465
Number of pages14
JournalPhysiological Measurement
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 7 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • MCNP
  • manganese
  • neutron activation analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Physiology
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Physiology (medical)


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