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J Pharm Biomed Anal. 2000 Dec 15;24(2):227-35.

Optimal sample preparation conditions for the determination of uranium in biological samples by kinetic phosphorescence analysis (KPA).

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  • 1Applied Cellular Radiobiology Department, Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute, Bethesda, MD 20889-5603, USA.


Kinetic phosphorescence analysis (KPA) is a proven technique for rapid, precise, and accurate determination of uranium in aqueous solutions. Uranium analysis of biological samples require dry-ashing in a muffle furnace between 400 and 600 degrees C followed by wet-ashing with concentrated nitric acid and hydrogen peroxide to digest the organic component in the sample that interferes with uranium determination by KPA. The optimal dry-ashing temperature was determined to be 450 degrees C. At dry-ashing temperatures greater than 450 degrees C, uranium loss was attributed to vaporization. High temperatures also caused increased background values that were attributed to uranium leaching from the glass vials. Dry-ashing temperatures less than 450 degrees C result in the samples needing additional wet-ashing steps. The recovery of uranium in urine samples was 99.2+/-4.02% between spiked concentrations of 1.98-1980 ng (0.198-198 microg l(-1)) uranium, whereas the recovery in whole blood was 89.9+/-7.33% between the same spiked concentrations. The limit of quantification in which uranium in urine and blood could be accurately measured above the background was determined to be 0.05 and 0.6 microg l(-1), respectively.

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