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A multi-modal exploration of heterogeneous physico–chemical properties of DCIS breast microcalcifications

DOI: 10.1039/D1AN01548F DOI Help

Authors: Sarah Gosling (Cranfield University) , Doriana Calabrese (University of Exeter) , Jayakrupakar Nallala (University of Exeter) , Charlene Greenwood (Keele University) , Sarah Pinder (King's College London) , Lorraine King (Duke University Medical Center) , Jeffrey Marks (Duke University Medical Center) , Donna Pinto ( , Thomas Lynch (Duke University Medical Center) , Iain D. Lyburn (Cranfield University; Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust; Cobalt Medical Charity) , E. Shelley Hwang (Duke University Medical Center) , Cruk Grand Challenge Precision Consortium , Keith Rogers (Cranfield University) , Nicholas Stone (University of Exeter)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: Analyst , VOL 95

State: Published (Approved)
Published: March 2022
Diamond Proposal Number(s): 21565 , 25414 , 27300

Open Access Open Access

Abstract: Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) is frequently associated with breast calcification. This study combines multiple analytical techniques to investigate the heterogeneity of these calcifications at the micrometre scale. X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy and Raman and Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy were used to determine the physicochemical and crystallographic properties of type II breast calcifications located in formalin fixed paraffin embedded DCIS breast tissue samples. Multiple calcium phosphate phases were identified across the calcifications, distributed in different patterns. Hydroxyapatite was the dominant mineral, with magnesium whitlockite found at the calcification edge. Amorphous calcium phosphate and octacalcium phosphate were also identified close to the calcification edge at the apparent mineral/matrix barrier. Crystallographic features of hydroxyapatite also varied across the calcifications, with higher crystallinity centrally, and highest carbonate substitution at the calcification edge. Protein was also differentially distributed across the calcification and the surrounding soft tissue, with collagen and β-pleated protein features present to differing extents. Combination of analytical techniques in this study was essential to understand the heterogeneity of breast calcifications and how this may link crystallographic and physicochemical properties of calcifications to the surrounding tissue microenvironment.

Diamond Keywords: Breast Cancer

Subject Areas: Biology and Bio-materials, Medicine, Materials

Instruments: I18-Microfocus Spectroscopy

Added On: 05/04/2022 16:20


Discipline Tags:

Non-Communicable Diseases Biomaterials Health & Wellbeing Cancer Biochemistry Chemistry Materials Science Life Sciences & Biotech

Technical Tags:

Diffraction X-ray Powder Diffraction