Speed, Sensitivity, Selectivity.

Generating megapixel elemental images using Vitesse

ICP-MS has proven to be a powerful analytical tool for laser ablation analysis of a variety of sample types. Historically, laser ablation systems have created transient sample signals of a few hundred milliseconds from a single shot which has been useful to obtain multi-element analysis of sample surfaces. As laser ablation cells have developed, the washout times have reduced to a few milliseconds, this has improved the sensitivity as the same amount of sample is compressed into shorter time and improved productivity as laser repetition rates have been able to be increased. The only realistic technique to provide multi-element analysis on millisecond timescales is Time of Flight ICP-MS.

This application note describes how the Vitesse TOF-ICP-MS from Nu Instruments can collect the raw data required for megapixel images and how this data is normalised and then displayed as element image maps. The ability to overlay different element maps is shown as a tool to help understand the distribution of metals in centimetre sized biological samples with micron sized pixel resolutions. Examples of images generated from the ablation of  whole-body section of mice (intravenously injected with silver nanoparticles and euthanised after different incubation times) are presented.

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