A Preliminary X-Ray Study on Human-Hair Microstructures for a Health-State Indicator

We present a preliminary x-ray study on human-hair microstructures for a health-state indicator, in particular a cancer case. As an uncomplicated and low-cost method of x-ray technique, the human-hair microstructure was analyzed by wide-angle x-ray diffractions (XRD) and small-angle x-ray scattering (SAXS). The XRD measurements exhibited the simply reflections at the d-spacing of 28 Å, 9.4 Å and 4.4 Å representing to the periodic distance of the protein matrix of the human-hair macrofibrous and the diameter and the repeated spacing of the polypeptide alpha helixes of the photofibrils of the human-hair microfibrous, respectively. When compared to the normal cases, the unhealthy cases including to the breast- and ovarian-cancer cases obtained higher normalized ratios of the x-ray diffracting peaks of 9.4 Å and 4.4 Å. This likely resulted from the varied distributions of microstructures by a molecular alteration. As an elemental analysis by x-ray fluorescence (XRF), the normalized quantitative ratios of zinc(Zn)/calcium(Ca) and iron(Fe)/calcium(Ca) were determined. Analogously, both Zn/Ca and Fe/Ca ratios of the unhealthy cases were obtained higher than both of the normal cases were. Combining the structural analysis by XRD measurements and the elemental analysis by XRF measurements exhibited that the modified fibrous microstructures of hair samples were in relation to their altered elemental compositions. Therefore, these microstructural and elemental analyses of hair samples will be benefit to associate with a diagnosis of cancer and genetic diseases. This functional method would lower a risk of such diseases by the early diagnosis. However, the high-intensity x-ray source, the highresolution x-ray detector, and more hair samples are necessarily desired to develop this x-ray technique and the efficiency would be enhanced by including the skin and fingernail samples with the human-hair analysis.

The Determination of Cellulose Spiral Angle by Small-Angle X-Ray Scattering from Structurally Characterized Acacia mangium Cell Wall

The spiral angle of the elementary cellulose fibril in the wood cell wall, often called microfibril angle, (MFA). Microfibril angle in hardwood is one of the key determinants of solid timber performance due to its strong influence on the stiffness, strength, shrinkage, swelling, thermal-dynamics mechanical properties and dimensional stability of wood. Variation of MFA (degree) in the S2 layer of the cell walls among Acacia mangium trees was determined using small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS). The length and orientation of the microfibrils of the cell walls in the irradiated volume of the thin samples are measured using SAXS and optical microscope for 3D surface measurement. The undetermined parameters in the analysis are the MFA, (M) and the standard deviation (σФ) of the intensity distribution arising from the wandering of the fibril orientation about the mean value. Nine separate pairs of values are determined for nine different values of the angle of the incidence of the X-ray beam relative to the normal to the radial direction in the sample. The results show good agreement. The curve distribution of scattered intensity for the real cell wall structure is compared with that calculated with that assembly of rectangular cells with the same ratio of transverse to radial cell wall length. It is demonstrated that for β = 45°, the peaks in the curve intensity distribution for the real and the rectangular cells coincide. If this peak position is Ф45, then the MFA can be determined from the relation M = tan-1 (tan Ф45 / cos 45°), which is precise for rectangular cells. It was found that 92.93% of the variation of MFA can be attributed to the distance from pith to bark. Here we shall present our results of the MFA in the cell wall with respect to its shape, structure and the distance from pith to park as an important fast check and yet accurate towards the quality of wood, its uses and application.