[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Multi-collector inductively coupled plasma--sector field mass spectrometry was applied to the measurement of Fe and Zn isotopes in human whole blood samples. For the Fe present in the blood of healthy adults, enrichment of the lighter isotopes relative to a standard material was observed, in agreement with earlier studies. The level of fractionation was found to be lower in hemochromatosis patients exhibiting homozygous (C282Y/C282Y) mutation of the HFE gene. On the one hand, this reinforces the hypothesis that Fe fractionation in blood decreases with enhanced dietary absorption. On the other hand, this contradicts predictions made on the basis of determinations of Fe fractionation in blood samples collected from subjects characterized by milder HFE mutations. In healthy subjects, the Zn in blood is depleted in lighter isotopes, consistent with the limited number of prior observations. As for Fe, the Zn isotopic composition exhibited a tendency toward lower levels of fractionation in the blood of subjects with hereditary hemochromatosis with homozygous mutation (C282Y/C282Y) of the HFE gene. The results therefore suggest that both Fe and Zn isotopic signatures in whole blood, at least to some extent, reflect polymorphisms in the HFE gene.
Full-text · Article · Feb 2005 · Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A procedure is described for the determination of Y, Zr, Nb, Ru, Rh, Pd, Ag, Sb, Te, Hf, Ta, W, Re, Os, Ir, Pt, Au, Tl, Bi, and U in human urine and serum at concentrations relevant to the occupationally unexposed population. Sample preparation was limited to tenfold dilution with 2% HCl. A combination of a sample-introduction system designed to provide enhanced sensitivity and the use of water and acids of high-purity has resulted in limits of quantification (LOQ) in the sub-nanogram per liter range for 13 analytes. Instrumental background caused by release of analytes (Y, Zr, Ag, Sb, Au, Tl, Bi, U) from different parts of the sample-introduction system was found to be the major limitation in obtaining even better LOQ. Nevertheless, detection capabilities of the proposed procedure were adequate for all elements except Ru, Pd, and Rh. Despite of the use of high-resolution mode for these analytes some unresolved spectral interferences might still be present. For 13 elements an external accuracy assessment was accomplished by participation in proficiency testing and inter-comparison programs. Results obtained for pooled urine and serum were compared with concentrations reported for occupationally unexposed populations in recent publications.
Full-text · Article · Oct 2004 · Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In this work, several contributing factors to the observed mass bias in inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) have been identified. Analyses of the isotopic compositions of B deposited on sampler and skimmer cones demonstrate enrichment of 10B on the former and 11B on the latter. Grounding the capacitive discharge system to enhance sensitivity also magnified the level of 11B enrichment on the skimmer cone more than four-fold. This supersonic expansion of the ion beam behind the sampler is confirmed to be an important source of mass bias. Isotopic analyses of the Fe, Zn and Tl leached from used extraction lenses yielded a linear relationship between the levels of lighter isotope depletion and mass ratio. Although consistent with the space-charge effect, the fact that isotopically-heavy deposits were found demonstrates that the ion beam diverges into a relatively wide solid angle in the field-free region behind the skimmer. This severely impairs transmission of, in particular, the lighter isotopes. For a wide range of elements (Li, B, Fe, Ni, Cu, Sb, Ce, Hf and Re), the magnitude of the mass bias was found to be affected by the sample gas flow rate, as well as the distance between the sampler and the end of the torch, i.e., the sampling depth, employed in the Neptune multi-collector ICP-MS instrument. Mathematical analysis of the profiles of intensity variations as a function of these instrumental parameters revealed that the response peaks closer to the torch for the heavier isotopes of all studied elements. Owing to this spatial non-coincidence, tuning for maximum intensity on either isotope will result in sampling from a region where even slight plasma instabilities will be translated into substantial variations in mass bias. Therefore, in-plasma processes also contribute to the degree and temporal stability of mass bias. In light of these findings, recommendations for optimizing multi-collector ICP-MS with respect to obtaining the highest possible precision are presented.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The performance of double-focusing, sector field ICP–MS (ICP–SFMS) for the multi-elemental analysis of soft tissues following microwave-assisted digestion with nitric acid was evaluated and factors affecting method limits of detection discussed. Accuracy was assessed by replicate analyses of certified reference materials and by participation in performance evaluation programs; the precision was better than 5% relative standard deviation (RSD) for the majority of elements. Cl was the only element for which ICP–SFMS data consistently deviated from certified concentrations in the reference materials tested. Comparison between results obtained by ICP–SFMS and ICP optical emission spectrometry showed good agreement for elements present in tissues at concentrations above 2μgg−1. The concentrations of 68 elements in different fish and animal soft tissues (muscle, liver, kidney, lung and brain) are presented, and, where possible, compared with previously published data.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Variations in the isotopic composition of Zn present in various biological materials were determined using high-resolution multicollector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (MC-ICPMS), following digestion and purification by anion exchange chromatography. To correct for differences in instrumental mass discrimination effects between samples and standards, Cu was employed as an elemental spike. Complementary analyses of Zn separates by sector field ICPMS instruments revealed that the concentrations of the majority of potentially interfering elements were reduced to negligible levels. Residual spectral interferences resulting from (35)Cl(16)O(2)(+), (40)Ar(14)N(2)(+), and (40)Ar(14)N(16)O(+) could be instrumentally resolved from the (67)Zn, (68)Zn, and (70)Zn ion beams, respectively, during measurement by MC-ICPMS. The only other observed interference in the Cu and Zn mass range that could not be effectively eliminated by high-resolution multicollection resulted from (35)Cl(2)(+), necessitating modification of the sample preparation procedure to allow accurate (70)Zn detection. Complete duplication of the entire analytical procedure for human whole blood and hair, as well as bovine liver and muscle, provided an external reproducibility of 0.05-0.12 per thousand (2sigma) for measured delta(66/64)Zn, delta(67/64)Zn, and delta(68/64)Zn values, demonstrating the utility of the method for the precise isotopic analysis of Zn in biological materials. Relative to the selected Zn isotopic standard, delta(66/64)Zn values for biological samples varied from -0.60 per thousand in human hair to +0.56 per thousand in human whole blood, identifying the former material as the isotopically lightest Zn source found in nature to date.
Full-text · Article · Aug 2004 · Analytical Chemistry
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: First published as an Advance Article on the web 28th May 2004 Soil samples were prepared for multi-element analysis using HNO 3 leaching or pseudo-total digestion with HNO 3 , HCl and HF in a microwave oven, both methods requiring 70 min heating time. Two calibration approaches for the soil characterization were also compared: external calibration, combined with internal standardization, and isotope dilution (ID) after appropriate spiking of the soils with a stable isotope mixture prior to sample preparation. Analyses were performed using inductively coupled plasma sector field mass spectrometry (ICP-SFMS). Accurate total elemental concentrations were only obtained for Cd and P using both sample preparation methods in two certified reference materials, NIST SRM 2709 and CCRMP SO-2, as well as comparable values for a Finnish inter-laboratory soil. The pseudo-total digestion method also provided accurate results for As, Be, Co, Fe, Mn, Ni, Pb, Sb, Ti, V and Zn. For Cu in SO-2 and Cr in both certified reference materials, incomplete recoveries were always obtained. In the case of Cr, this is due to difficulties associated with the complete solubilization of refractory minerals. For a given final dilution factor, external calibration provides better limits of detection (LODs) than ID. As both methods of quantification yield results of essentially equivalent accuracy and precision, external calibration is to be preferred as a greater number of elements are amenable to analysis in a shorter measurement time. On the other hand, ID can be combined with matrix separation (NH 3 precipitation was used here), allowing lower dilution factors to be used without deleterious effects on the instrumental performance. In particular, improved LODs could be obtained for Cd, Cu and Hg, primarily as a result of being able to introduce ten-fold more concentrated solutions from which the bulk of the matrix had been removed. For Cu and Ni, matrix separation almost eliminated Ti, and thus the formation of spectrally interfering TiO 1 was completely suppressed. Potentially, the combination of ID and matrix separation would allow these elements to be determined without resorting to medium resolution measurement mode, again improving the LODs for the determination by ID-ICP-SFMS.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Isotope ratios and elemental concentrations were measured in aqueous solutions sampled at varying distances from sources of Fe or Zn ions. The measurements reveal fractionation of isotopes resulting from pure diffusion in solution. Our data demonstrate that diffusion alone can cause changes in (56)Fe/(54)Fe and (66)Zn/(64)Zn isotope ratios in excess of -0.3 per thousand. These findings thus confirm previous suspicions that transport processes contribute to observed variations in isotopic compositions. Diffusion must therefore be considered when attempting to make inferences from isotope measurements on samples originating from aqueous systems where concentration gradients may develop.
Full-text · Article · May 2004 · Analytical Chemistry
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Anion-exchange and precipitation procedures for Fe separation from unspiked human whole blood after microwave digestion and ashing decomposition techniques were thoroughly evaluated in terms of Fe recoveries, decreases in matrix element concentrations and elimination of interfering species for subsequent Fe isotope ratio measurements by multi-collector ICP-MS. During isotope ratio measurements involving 54Fe, 56Fe and 57Fe, on-line mass discrimination correction using Ni isotopes was applied, significantly reducing uncertainties both within and between Fe sample runs. Despite Fe recoveries below 100% for all separation procedures studied, no artificial isotope fractionation was detected. The degree of Fe fractionation in a commercially available, whole blood sample (Trace Elements in Whole Blood, Level 1, Sero AS), expressed as 56δ
(−2.83 ± 0.06‰) and 57δ
(−4.23 ± 0.08‰) values relative to IRMM-014 Fe isotopic reference material, agrees well with previously published data. Of the tested separation procedures, precipitation using NH3 was found to be the most rapid and cost-effective method, yielding high Fe recovery and low levels of concomitant elements.
No preview · Article · Dec 2003 · Journal of Analytical Atomic Spectrometry
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: High resolution MC-ICP-MS is used for the precise measurement of variations in the isotopic composition of Fe in ferromanganese concretions and sediments relative to IRMM-014 standard. The sensitivity for 56Fe in high resolution mode was 3 V per mg l−1 Fe, a figure that is comparable to those from other MC-ICP-MS instruments operated at low resolution. Incorporation of a guard electrode and the efficient ion transmission capabilities of the Neptune MC-ICP-MS instrument are responsible for the high sensitivity. It was observed that the use of HCl resulted in the formation of ClOH+, causing interference with 54Fe in particular. This acid has been preferred in some cases over HNO3 to minimize formation of ArN+, the major interferent for 54Fe. Using the high resolution mode of the Neptune, the nature of spectral interferences is unimportant as all are completely resolved and will not affect the accuracy of the determined Fe isotope ratios. As the instrument also provides flat-topped peaks, high resolution operation does not necessarily result in impaired precision, providing that higher concentrations are used to compensate for the loss in sensitivity compared with the low resolution mode. In the present work, external reproducibilities of 56Fe/54Fe and 57Fe/54Fe isotope ratios were better than 50 ppm (one standard deviation) at a concentration of 5 mg l−1. The level of instrumental mass discrimination observed for raw ratios drifted by as much as 0.09% per mass unit over a measurement session, but could be corrected on-line by simultaneous monitoring of the 62Ni/60Ni isotope ratio. Variations in the Fe concentrations or the acid strength of measurement solutions were found to affect the apparent mass discrimination. Increasing the Fe concentration caused a relative decrease in the raw 56Fe/54Fe and 57Fe/54Fe isotope ratios, thus ruling out the space charge effect as the explanation for this phenomenon. Instead, it is suggested that the larger dry aerosol particles formed at higher Fe concentrations are not completely vaporized until later in the plasma, thus reducing the relative rate of diffusional losses of lighter 54Fe from the central channel. However, application of on-line correction using Ni could adequately account for this effect. From the results for a variety of sedimentary geological materials, analysis of three-isotope data revealed that equilibrium fractionation of Fe occurred during deposition. To be able to distinguish between equilibrium and kinetic fractionation processes, it is imperative to collect accurate and precise data for the 56Fe/54Fe and 57Fe/54Fe isotope ratios. These requirements are readily fulfilled by applying high resolution MC-ICP-MS and on-line correction for instrumental mass discrimination using Ni.