Martin Tanner


Laser Ablation and Inductively Coupled Plasma–Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry—A Powerful Combination for High-Speed Multielemental Imaging on the Micrometer Scale

May 01, 2017

Over the last few decades, elemental imaging using laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) has emerged as an important tool in the study of solid samples from a variety of scientific disciplines, including medicine, biology, and geology. This article highlights recent analytical trends towards high-speed, high-spatial resolution, multi-elemental imaging that became possible with advances in both LA and ICP-MS technology, including the design of fast-washout ablation cells and commercialization of high-speed ICP-MS such as time-of-flight mass analyzers (TOFMS), This study will demonstrate the new imaging approach by coupling LA with an-ICP-TOFMS system (icpTOF from TOFWERK, Thun, Switzerland) on two application areas: quantitative mapping of trace elements in a sulfide mineral (sphalerite), and imaging of the distribution of a chemotherapy drug (Cisplatin) in a rat kidney. High-performance LA-ICP-TOFMS provides researchers with an effective new tool to study biological and geological processes, with much greater speed and in much greater detail than previously possible with conventional ICP-MS instrumental designs.