Advertisement

Verhandlungen pp 707-710 | Cite as

Studies of the reactivity of keratin with heavy metals

  • J. Sikorski
  • W. S. Simpson
  • H. J. Woods
Chapter

Abstract

The use of heavy metals for staining biological tissues is, of course, a standard microscope technique ; the best known application is when osmium is used. Recently, doubts have been expressed as to the correct interpretation of osmium staining (1) because of the uncertainty of the chemical reactions taking place. For a long time (2) it has been known that mercury is taken up by keratin by virtue of its reaction with sulphur from broken disulphide linkages between the polypeptide chains. This suggests that if the mercury could be detected by electron micro­scopy information might be obtained about the distribution of sulphur in the fibre, and if it is characteristically distributed, histological features should be made more easily evident in the microscope. The importance of investigating this reaction of mercury with keratin is emphasized by the fact that fibres containing mercury give an X-ray diffraction photograph different in certain respects from that of untreated fibres (3, 4).

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. 1.
    Hall, C. E.: J. biophys. biochem. Cytol. 1, 1 (1955).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Speakman, J. B.: J. Textile Inst. 27, 231 (1936).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Cockburn, R.: The distribution of the side-chains in the keratin molecule. Ph. D. Thesis. University of Leeds 1954.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Fraser, R. D. B., and T. P. Macrae: Nature (Lond.) 179, 732 (1957).ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Mercer, E. H., R. L. Golden and E. B. Jeffries: Textile Res. J. 24, 615 (1954).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Birbeck, M. S. C., and E. H. Mercer: J. biophys. biochem. Cytol. 3, 215 (1957).CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1960

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Sikorski
    • 1
  • W. S. Simpson
    • 1
  • H. J. Woods
    • 1
  1. 1.Textile Physics Laboratory, Department of Textile IndustriesThe University of LeedsEngland

Personalised recommendations