Correlation of μXRF and LA-ICP-MS in the analysis of a human bone-cartilage sample†
Determining the local distribution of major, minor and trace elements in biological tissues provides fundamental information on the chemical composition and often allows conclusions on the underlying biochemical mechanisms. Within this project we aimed for the elemental characterization of a complex biological sample, a human femoral head, which includes both hard (bone and mineralized cartilage) and soft tissue (hyaline cartilage). Two elemental imaging methods were employed – microbeam X-ray fluorescence spectrometry (μXRF) and laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS). μXRF and LA-ICP-MS are widely used for chemical analysis in various applications. While bone consists mostly of mineralized material and its elemental composition is in the focus of investigation (both in health and disease), hyaline cartilage is primarily composed of organic molecules such as glycosaminoglycans, proteoglycans, collagen, and its elemental content is not well studied. In this proof-of-principle study, μXRF was followed by LA-ICP-MS on the very same sample and region. The measurements resulted in the elemental maps of bone, as well as a cartilaginous area of the sample (including the tidemark – interface between calcified and hyaline cartilage). In addition to the spatial distribution of elements, we also obtained quantitative information by using matrix-matched standards.
- This article is part of the themed collection: JAAS Recent Open Access Articles