Opportunities in multidimensional trace metal imaging: Taking copper-associated disease research to the next level

Stefan Vogt, Martina Ralle

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Copper plays an important role in numerous biological processes across all living systems predominantly because of its versatile redox behavior. Cellular copper homeostasis is tightly regulated and disturbances lead to severe disorders such as Wilson disease and Menkes disease. Age-related changes of copper metabolism have been implicated in other neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer disease. The role of copper in these diseases has been a topic of mostly bioinorganic research efforts for more than a decade, metal-protein interactions have been characterized, and cellular copper pathways have been described. Despite these efforts, crucial aspects of how copper is associated with Alzheimer disease, for example, are still only poorly understood. To take metal-related disease research to the next level, emerging multidimensional imaging techniques are now revealing the copper metallome as the basis to better understand disease mechanisms. This review describes how recent advances in X-ray fluorescence microscopy and fluorescent copper probes have started to contribute to this field, specifically in Wilson disease and Alzheimer disease. It furthermore provides an overview of current developments and future applications in X-ray microscopic methods. [Figure not available: see fulltext.]

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1809-1820
Number of pages12
JournalAnalytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry
Issue number6
StatePublished - Feb 2013


  • Copper
  • Fluorescence
  • Imaging
  • Neurological disease
  • X-ray

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry


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