Analysis of Various Metalloprotein Stoichiometry’s with Simultaneous PIXE and NRA

Student Author(s)

Zachary Diener

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Paul DeYoung

Document Type


Event Date



Approximately one-third of all proteins contain metal cofactors or bind to various metals. Determining the absolute number of metals contained in these proteins has proven to be difficult. We hope to accurately characterize a protein’s stoichiometry with two common ion beam analysis methods along with a standard preparation technique. A combination of Particle Induced X-ray Emission spectroscopy (PIXE) and Nuclear Reaction Analysis (NRA) is being developed to determine the areal density of a thin protein target along with the target’s concentration of heavy elements. The results of this analytical method yield a stoichiometric ratio, along with the absolute numbers of the metal ions contained in a certain metalloprotein. Current work focuses refining the present method of protein preparation to yield the most consistent results while reducing uncertainty in the metallic ratios and absolute values.


This material is based on work supported by the Nation Science Foundation under grant No. PHY-1306074 and grant No. PHY/DMR-1004811.

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