M. Bonta, S. Török, B. Hegedus, B. Döme, A. Limbeck:
"A comparison of sample preparation strategies for biological tissues and subsequent trace element analysis using LA-ICP-MS";
Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry,
Laser ablation-inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) is one of the most commonly ap-plied methods for lateral trace element distribution analysis in medical studies. Many improvements of the technique regard-ing quantification and achievable lateral resolution have been achieved in the last years. Nevertheless, sample preparation is also of major importance and the optimal sample preparation strategy still has not been defined. While conventional histol-ogy knows a number of sample pre-treatment strategies, little is known about the effect of these approaches on the lateral distributions of elements and/or their quantities in tissues. The technique of formalin fixation and paraffin embedding (FFPE) has emerged as the gold standard in tissue preparation. However, the potential use for elemental distribution studies is questionable due to a large number of sample preparation steps. In this work, LA-ICP-MS was used to examine the applicability of the FFPE sample preparation approach for elemental distribution studies. Qualitative elemental distribu-tions as well as quantitative concentrations in cryo-cut tissues as well as FFPE samples were compared. Results showed that some metals (especially Na and K) are severely affected by the FFPE process, whereas others (e.g., Mn, Ni) are less influ-enced. Based on these results, a general recommendation can be given: FFPE samples are completely unsuitable for the analysis of alkaline metals. When analyzing transition metals, FFPE samples can give comparable results to snap-frozen tissues.
Biological tissues, LA-ICP-MS, trace elements, imaging
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