For the clinical industry, the transition from atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS) to inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) has been gradual over the past two decades. The ability to measure more elements per sample in less time has made it the technique of choice. With a large dynamic range and ultra-low detection limits, ICP-MS is able to meet the growing demands within the industry.

Although, before samples can be analyzed, which can include whole blood, blood serum, blood plasma, urine, and other biological material, they must first be prepared for analysis. Many biological samples naturally contain a high organic and salt content and the elemental composition within each of these components will vary, as will the elemental form. Some elements will be inorganic and easily extracted, while others are organically bound or may be confined to cell structures and require more aggressive extraction or even acid-digestion to completely release them.

So the question often asked is: What is the best way to prepare biological samples for analysis by ICP-MS? For an answer, download Analytik Jena's comprehensive materials including a publication and specific application notes at