Atomic spectrometry update: Review of advances in the analysis of clinical and biological materials, foods and beverages
This review includes publications from November 2012 to September 2013. Microfluidic devices are starting to appear in reports relevant to this ASU. Chip-based technologies were described, performing preparation steps, as also were liquid–liquid microextractions, which were mentioned last year. Another innovation involved an atomically imprinted polymer, used for pre-concentration of Se from foods, by an impressive factor of 232. Continuum source AAS is being used more and more with several applications reported for single element measurements but more usually for multi-element determinations. Associated with an increasing concern at the number of failures of metal implants, such as for hips, have been publications of methods for measuring metal ions in clinical samples and also reports of their concentrations in samples from healthy and affected patients. Events such as this draw attention to the importance of well-defined reference ranges and groups from Belgium and the UK measured a range of elements in urine specimens from large numbers of healthy adults. Concentrations for several elements were reported as undetectable so it is useful to see some workers addressing the challenge of reducing detection limits. New approaches to diagnosing Wilson's disease were suggested. It was proposed to measure 65Cu:63Cu ratios in serum and urine, but this is only feasible with access to a MC-ICP-MS. Cystic fibrosis is usually diagnosed by determining the Cl− concentration in sweat and it has been shown for the first time that this may be carried out using ICP-MS. It was shown that Al and Br in conventional tissue stains might be used to guide the distribution of other elements in cell structures, when determined by LA-ICP-MS. A popular element for investigation at the moment appears to be silver. Partly this follows from increased use of silver nanoparticles and whether there might be any toxicity but also from where it is employed for its antibacterial properties, such as in dressings applied to large exposed wounds and in jug filters for drinking water purification.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Atomic Spectrometry Updates