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Anal Chem. 2008 May 15;80(10):3515-21. doi: 10.1021/ac800174j. Epub 2008 Apr 19.

Subattomole sensitivity in biological accelerator mass spectrometry.

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  • 1Ion Physics, Angström Laboratory, Department of Engineering Sciences, Box 534, Uppsala University, SE-751 21 Uppsala, Sweden.


The Uppsala University 5 MV Pelletron tandem accelerator has been used to study (14)C-labeled biological samples utilizing accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) technology. We have adapted a sample preparation method for small biological samples down to a few tens of micrograms of carbon, involving among others, miniaturizing of the graphitization reactor. Standard AMS requires about 1 mg of carbon with a limit of quantitation of about 10 amol. Results are presented for a range of small sample sizes with concentrations down to below 1 pM of a pharmaceutical substance in human blood. It is shown that (14)C-labeled molecular markers can be routinely measured from the femtomole range down to a few hundred zeptomole (10 (-21) mol), without the use of any additional separation methods.

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