Analysis of nutrition-relevant trace elements in human blood and serum by means of total reflection X-ray fluorescence (TXRF) spectroscopy

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  • Hagen Stosnach
  • Margarete Mages

In clinical service laboratories, one of the most common analytical tasks with regard to inorganic traces is the determination of the nutrition-relevant elements Fe, Cu, Zn, and Se. Because of the high numbers of samples and the commercial character of these analyses, a time-consuming sample preparation must be avoided. In this presentation, the results of total reflection X-ray fluorescence measurements with a low-power system and different sample preparation procedures are compared with those derived from analysis with common methods like Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy (AAS) and Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectroscopy (ICP-MS). The results of these investigations indicate that the optimal total reflection X-ray fluorescence analysis of the nutrition-relevant elements Fe, Cu, Zn, and Se can be performed by preparing whole blood and serum samples after dilution with ultrapure water and transferring 10 μl of internally standardized sample to an unsiliconized quartz glass sample carrier with subsequent drying in a laboratory oven. Suitable measurement time was found to be 600 s. The enhanced sample preparation by means of microwave or open digestion, in parts combined with cold plasma ashing, led to an improvement of detection limits by a factor of 2 for serum samples while for whole blood samples an improvement was only observed for samples prepared by means of microwave digestion. As the matrix elements P, S, Cl, and for whole blood Fe have a major influence on the detection limits, most probably a further enhancement of analytical quality requires the removal of the organic matrix. However, for the routine analysis of the nutrition-relevant elements, the dilution preparation was found to be sufficient.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSpectrochimica Acta - Part B Atomic Spectroscopy
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)354-356
Number of pages3
Publication statusPublished - 04.2009

    Research areas

  • Blood, Nutrition, Serum, Trace elements, TXRF
  • Engineering