Denmark: Working group at the Danish University of Pharmaceutical Science
Elemental speciation analysis in biological materials – hyphenated techniques
Development of analytical techniques capable of providing information on the identity and quantity of hetero-atom-containing biomolecules – often referred to as metallomics – is a fundamental contribution of analytical chemistry to the progress of life sciences. Many trace elements play a vital role in drug metabolism and many biological functions and advanced analytical chemistry methods are needed to gain exact knowledge on metabolism, toxicity, benefits and transport of trace elements in humans.
Speciation analysis, the determination of trace elements in their natural occurring compounds, is an important tool to obtain this knowledge. The research in our group is centred on the development and improvement of separation techniques and their hyphenation with state-of-the-art mass spectrometric detectors e.g. ICP-MS or ESI-MS. These techniques are applied for speciation analysis of selenium compounds in human samples, the overall goal being a better understanding of the human selenium metabolism, but are also applied for the analysis of biomolecules containing other elements with important biological functions e.g. sulphur, phosphorus and halogens. The analytical techniques are LC-ICP-MS, CE-ICP-MS, LC-ESI-MS and CE-ESI-MS.