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Anal Chem. 2014 Jan 7;86(1):615-20. doi: 10.1021/ac4028577. Epub 2013 Dec 13.

Elemental bioimaging of nanosilver-coated prostheses using X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy and laser ablation-inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry.

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Institute of Inorganic and Analytical Chemistry, University of Münster , Corrensstraße 28/30, 48149 Münster, Germany.


The distribution of different chemical elements from a nanosilver-coated bone implant was visualized, combining the benefits of two complementary methods for elemental bioimaging, the nondestructive micro X-ray fluorescence (μ-XRF), and laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS). Challenges caused by the physically inhomogeneous materials including bone and soft tissues were addressed by polymer embedding. With the use of μ-XRF, fast sample mapping was achieved obtaining titanium and vanadium signals from the metal implant as well as phosphorus and calcium signals representing hard bone tissue and sulfur distribution representing soft tissues. Only by the use of LA-ICP-MS, the required high sensitivity and low detection limits for the determination of silver were obtained. Metal distribution within the part of cancellous bone was revealed for silver as well as for the implant constituents titanium, vanadium, and aluminum. Furthermore, the detection of coinciding high local zirconium and aluminum signals at the implant surface indicates remaining blasting abrasive from preoperative surface treatment of the nanosilver-coated device.

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