October 1st 2007
Two of the most significant areas of advancement in inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) with respect to clinical applications have been the evolution of the sample introduction system and the interface of liquid chromatography (LC). The complexity of the sample matrix creates challenges for a number of components involved with the introduction of ions into the mass spectrometer, including the nebulizer, spray chamber, torch, and interface cones. The development of LC-ICP-MS methods enables analysts to quantitate not only the total metal content but the form of the metal as well, a distinction that in many cases is crucial. Although the refinement of reaction and collision cell technology has been important for this application, much has been written elsewhere and it will not be addressed here.