Radiologic contrast-Induced transmetallation In mineral rich fruits: X-ray imaging to Understand Heat Cycling during Climate Change and Map Metal Redistribution in Biological media for Biomedical Applications
Heat cycling due to climate change can affect hydrated protein or carbohydrate functions, the latter is not well studied. The project started with involving the study of heat-stressed carbohydrate behavior when bulk water was partly stripped from carbohydrates in model microwaved fruits and vegetables, like apples and sweet potatoes (that are mineral-rich) and was set in mineral exchange competition with toxic metals like Gadolinium and chelating complexes like iodinated EDTA. These are common radiologic contrast medias that strongly absorb x-rays and are currently implicated in man-made environmental toxins. Our goal was to map diffusion of injected heavy atoms as well as that of native minerals as a possible result of a metal exchange or “transmetallation”. This is a new concept for metal ion-induced toxicity and our work perhaps is the first imaging demonstration of transmetallation in live biological media. The second phase involved detection of transmetallation in one fruit model, fresh apples, but expressed in four different apple varieties common in North America consisting of different PH and mineral balances. These fruits were treated with contrast media and radiographed under mammography equipment with low kV x rays. This was another way to explore transmetallation induced by toxic heavy atoms from the medical industry for carbohydrate systems with different amounts of iron, magnesium, potassium in their biochemical pools. Low kV x-rays are sensitive to small mineral differences in model biological media and may provide insight to in vivo applications as in various tumors with different pH differences or in infection with metal-dependent bacterial growth. Differential x-ray absorption maps due to radiologic contrast-induced transmetallation could reveal different grades for tumors and help guide treatment plans. Low dual kV CT systems are available today and our work may help develop new tumor grading and infection management using metal chelation to starve metal-dependent bacteria.