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Anal Bioanal Chem. 2014 Mar;406(7):1909-16. doi: 10.1007/s00216-013-7608-4. Epub 2014 Jan 18.

On-line species-unspecific isotope dilution analysis in the picomolar range reveals the time- and species-depending mercury uptake in human astrocytes.

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


In order to reveal the time-depending mercury species uptake by human astrocytes, a novel approach for total mercury analysis is presented, which uses an accelerated sample introduction system combined on-line with an inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer equipped with a collision/reaction cell. Human astrocyte samples were incubated with inorganic mercury (HgCl2), methylmercury chloride (MeHgCl), and thimerosal. After 1-h incubation with Hg(2+), cellular concentrations of 3 μM were obtained, whereas for organic species, concentrations of 14-18 μM could be found. After 24 h, a cellular accumulation factor of 0.3 was observed for the cells incubated with Hg(2+), whereas the organic species both showed values of about 5. Due to the obtained steady-state signals, reliable results with relative standard deviations of well below 5 % and limits of detection in the concentration range of 1 ng L(-1) were obtained using external calibration and species-unspecific isotope dilution analysis approaches. The results were further validated using atomic fluorescence spectrometry.

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