Determination of ultra-trace amounts of prosthesis-related metals in whole blood using volumetric absorptive micro-sampling and tandem ICP – Mass spectrometry

E.B. Fernandez, K.T. Phan, L. Balcaen, M. Resano, F. Vanhaecke
Analytica Chimica Acta
941, 1-9
Published while none of the authors were employed at the CMM


This paper reports on an evaluation of the suitability of a novel sample collection approach, volumetric absorptive micro-sampling (VAMS), in the context of the determination of ultra-trace concentrations of prosthesis-related metals (Al, Ti, V, Co, Cr, Ni, Sr and Zr) in whole blood. In a first phase, a simple dilute-and-shoot approach (100-fold dilution) followed by tandem ICP – mass spectrometry (ICP-MS/MS) analysis was developed for the accurate and sensitive determination of the target elements. The ICP-MS/MS method relies on the use of mass shift reactions proceeding when pressurizing the collision/reaction cell (CRC) with CH3F/He for dealing with spectral overlap. Limits of detection (LoDs) between 0.3 and 30 ng L−1 were attained in a multi-element approach. The accuracy of the method was demonstrated via successful analysis of the reference materials Seronorm Whole Blood Levels 1 and 3, and real venous blood samples, spiked with the target elements at different concentration levels (5–50 μg L−1). Although the implementation of VAMS devices introduced contamination problems for Al, Cr and Ni, VAMS followed by ICP-MS/MS analysis shows potential for future real-life routine applications when assessing levels of Ti, V, Co, Sr and/or Zr.