Diagnosis applications of non-crystalline diffraction of collagen fibres: Breast cancer and skin diseases

Meritxell Costa, Nuria Benseny-Cases, Mercedes Cócera, Cilaine Veronica Teixeira, M. Alsina, Josep Cladera, O. López, Manuel Fernández, Manel Sabés

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


In previous chapters, the basis of SAXS for the study of biological systems like proteins in solution have been presented. The SAXS patterns of proteins in solution present, in general, broad dependences with the scattering vector, and the interpretation requires a huge component of modelling. In this chapter and in the following one, it is shown how SAXS technique can be used to study biological systems that are partially crystalline and with a large crystalline cells. This is done by analysing the diffraction obtained from these systems at small angles. In this chapter, a new approach to the application of small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) for diagnosis using the diffraction pattern of collagen is presented. This chapter shows the development of a new strategy in the preventive diagnosis of breast cancer following changes on collagen from breast connective tissue. SAXS profiles are related to different features in cutaneous preparations and to the supra-molecular arrangement of skin layers (stratum corneum, epidermis and dermis), in order to introduce objective values on the diagnosis of different skin pathologies. Working parameters (size, thickness) and methods (freezing, paraffin embedment) have been established. The results suggest that collagen diffraction patterns could be used as diagnostic indicators; especially for breast cancer and preliminary results obtained with skin collagen are promising too. © 2009 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)265-280
JournalLecture Notes in Physics
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2009


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