Trace Element Detection in Human and Biological Samples

Description

A trace element is an element (e.g., lead, selenium, arsenic) that is present in a sample in very small, almost unmeasurable quantities (typically less than 100 parts per million or ppm), making it a challenge to measure them accurately. The research focus is on trace elements that are of interest to human health either because they are essential for proper growth and development or because they are toxic even at extremely low concentrations.

Faculty members

Ana Pejović-Milić

Research groups


X-ray fluorescence laboratory for trace element detection in human and biological samples

Researcher: Ana Pejović-Milić

The X-ray fluorescence laboratory for trace element detection in human and biological samples was established through investments by CFI /OIT and NSERC-Equipment Grants (P.I. A. Pejović-Milić). Presently the research is focused on the X-ray fluorescence elemental analysis, both in vivo and ex-vivo, of calcified tissues.

Work conducted in this research facility provides opportunity for both destructive and non- destructive analyses of any samples at detection limits of ppm and ppb levels. It houses an energy-dispersive, ppb detection resolution, X-ray fluorescence spectrometry (EDXRF, Bruker), a total reflections, ppm detection resolution, X-ray fluorescence spectrometry (TXRF, Bruker) and a hand held (mobile, ppm or ppb detection resolution) X-ray spectrometer (HHXRF, Tracer III, Bruker) available for the quantification of trace/toxic elements in biological tissue and/or other materials. Additional instrumentation that is available to Ryerson researchers and students include X-ray fluorescence components/equipment suitable for assembling different custom systems for non-destructive trace and toxic element analysis (Gamble Technologies SLP -16220-P: Silicon (Li) X-ray Detectors, a DSPEC-PLUS Digital Gamma-Ray Spectrometer with MAESTRO-32 Software, Canberra GL2020R HPGe Low Energy Photon Spectrometer, DSA-2000 Digital Gamma-Ray Spectrometer with Genie 2000 software). The world’s first in vivo X-ray fluorescence based diagnostic tool was developed in this laboratory, along with providing the ability to non-destructively measure many other elements, such as manganese, lead, gold, arsenic, selenium, silver and many others, accumulated in biological and/or other samples.

Equipment

S2 Ranger Energy-Dispersive X-ray spectrometer (Bruker-AXS, Madison, WI, USA)
S2 PicoFox Total Reflection X-ray spectrometer (Bruker-AXS, Madison, WI, USA)
Tracer III-SD Handheld spectrometer (Bruker-AXS, Madison, WI, USA)
Gamble Technologies SLP - 16220 - P: Silicon (Li) X-ray Detectors
DSPEC-PLUS Digital Gamma-Ray Spectrometer with MAESTRO-32 Software
Canberra GL2020R HPGe Low Energy Photon Spectrometer
DSA-2000 Digital Gamma-Ray Spectrometer with Genie 2000 software
Ball mill
Pellet press