Since the development and optimalization of the PIXE technique, applications in biology and medicine have attracted many research workers. The reason for this can be found in the biomedical field and also in the analytical field. In biochemistry, the role of trace elements was underestimated previously but there is a growing awareness of the importance of these traces in health and diseases. From the analytical point of view, biomedical work is promoted by the high sensitivity of PIXE in the region of Z between 10 and 40, exactly the region where, with a few exceptions, the biologically interesting elements are found. Moreover, the organic matrix does not represent a problem and, of course, the small sample size can be decisive for biomedical work. For very small amounts of material, the conservation of relative detection limits opens the possibility of scanning along a specimen with a proton microprobe (micro-PIXE), measuring element distributions. In this paper the limits of applicability of macro- as well as micro-PIXE for biomedical samples will be given, together with examples of applications of both techniques from the work performed at Amsterdam.