Atomic spectrometry update: review of advances in the analysis of clinical and biological materials, foods and beverages
Andrew Taylor, Nicola Barlow, Martin P. Day, Sarah Hill, Marina Patriarca and Mark White
This review covers publications from the second half of 2014 to the middle of 2015. Accounts of As toxicity in Bangladesh from water supplies with naturally high concentrations of As, emerged more than 20 years ago. A review of the research undertaken throughout this entire period has now been presented by those who have been involved throughout this period. Coincidentally, techniques developed for measurement of As and its speciation, in foods and drinking water were also reviewed in detail. Locally derived reference intervals for concentrations of toxic metals in biological fluids were reported from several countries, the most extensive of which was a report for 61 elements in urine. Considerable interest was noted for carbon-based sorbents used for sample enrichment. These included carbon nanotubes, carbon cloth and a knotted PTFE reactor modified with activated carbon immobilised on the inner wall. Considerable ingenuity was demonstrated in how these were used in practice, and impressive results were obtained with clinical and food specimens. The analytical repertoire associated with in vivo XRF spectrometry was extended to include Gd in bone. Further examples of speciation methodologies were reported. It has generally been found that selenoprotein P is the major Se species in blood but a recent report claims selenosugar-1 to be the most abundant species in serum and urine. It appears that ginger could be a good food source of biologically active Se species. Among a number of interesting reports it was found that serum concentrations of Nb and Ti are increased in children with spinal implants. Methods were developed to measure Co concentrations in urine from race horses and endurance athletes following suggestions that Co supplements may be used to increase blood haemoglobin concentrations. A report of fatal poisoning from Tl2SO4 added to table salt included the concentrations measured in tissues and body fluids. An unusual example of Pb poisoning was discovered in cattle, the source, an old leaded paint feed hopper was identified from Pb isotope measurements. Copper isotope analysis was proposed by two groups to have potential for diagnosis of liver cirrhosis and for breast and colorectal cancer.
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