Role of Trace Elements (Zn, Sr, Fe) in Bone Development: Energy Dispersive X-ray Fluorescence Study of Rat Bone and Tooth Tissue

Biofactors. Jul-Aug 2014;40(4):425-35. doi: 10.1002/biof.1163. Epub 2014 Mar 11.


Osteoporosis is one of the most common debilitating disease around the world and it is more and more established among young people. There are well known recommendations for nutrition of newborns and children concerning adequate calcium and vitamin D intake in order to maintain proper bone density. Nevertheless, important role in structure and function of a healthy bone tissue is played by an integration between all constituents including elements other than Ca, like trace elements, which control vital processes in bone tissue. It is important from scientific point of view as well as prevention of bone diseases, to monitor the mineralization process considering changes of the concentration of minerals during first stage of bone formation. This work presents studies of trace element (zinc, strontium, and iron) concentration in bones and teeth of Wistar rats at the age of 7, 14, and 28 days. Energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence (EDXRF) was used to examine mandibles, skulls, femurs, tibiae, and incisors. The quantitative analysis was performed using fundamental parameters method (FP). Zn and Sr concentrations were highest for the youngest individuals and decreased with age of rats, while Fe content was stable in bone matrix for most studied bones. Our results reveal the necessity of monitoring concentration of not only major, but also minor elements, because the trace elements play special role in the first period of bone development.

Keywords: X-ray fluorescence; iron; newborn rat bones; strontium; trace elements; zinc.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bone Development
  • Iron / metabolism*
  • Mandible / growth & development
  • Mandible / metabolism*
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Spectrometry, X-Ray Emission
  • Strontium / metabolism*
  • Tooth / growth & development
  • Tooth / metabolism*
  • Trace Elements / metabolism
  • Zinc / metabolism*


  • Trace Elements
  • Iron
  • Zinc
  • Strontium