Biological and biomedical 14C-accelerator mass spectrometry and graphitization of carbonaceous samples
Accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) is the ultimate technique for measuring rare isotopes in small samples. Biological and biomedical applications of 14C-AMS (bio-14C-AMS) commenced in the early 1990s and are now widely used in many research fields including pharmacology, toxicology, food, and nutrition. For accurate, precise, and reproducible bio-14C-AMS analysis, the graphitization step in sample preparation is the most critical step. So, various sample preparation methods for a process called graphitization have been reported for specific applications. Catalytic graphitization using either a flame-sealed borosilicate tube or a septa-sealed vial is a popular sample preparation method for bio-14C-AMS. In this review, we introduce the AMS system, especially for bio-14C-AMS. In addition, we also review the graphitization method for bio-14C-AMS to promote further understanding and improvement of sample preparation for this technique. Examples of catalytic graphitization methods over the past two decades are described.