Tissue sample analysis is critical to several industry sectors including environmental toxicology, human biomonitoring, and wildlife monitoring. However, handling, preparation, and analysis of biological samples can be challenging to many labs, especially when the target analytes are low-level metals and metals species. Issues with inhomogeneity and contamination can lead to poor quality data.
Brooks Applied Labs has the expertise and technology to provide the best possible data quality for biological samples. We helped establish clean-room and sampling techniques for the trace metals industry and continue to be leaders in this area as consultants to other laboratories and instructors of special sampling methods. We also use the most advanced technologies available to minimize analytical interferences, including dynamic reaction cell (DRC) and collision cell interference reduction technologies associated with all of our ICP-MS instruments, which are especially useful for the determinations of arsenic, chromium, iron, and selenium concentrations in biological samples.
Tissue & Biological Testing Services We Offer:
Arsenic Speciation Analyses
Brooks Applied Labs (BAL) has developed a number of science-based approaches to extract and quantify an array of arsenic species which are matrix specific. This means that depending on your data objectives, we have technologies that are preferentially selected to provide the most defensible analytical data on the market. BAL also supports EPA Method 1632 for certain matrices and arsenic molecules, and we have gone the extra mile to perform intercomparison studies to identify when that method is appropriate.
Brooks Applied Labs has collaborated with hundreds of clients across the world, including high profile projects with the US Food & Drug Administration as well as the United States Department of Agriculture. Our experience includes aquatic, terrestrial and airborne organisms spanning from cells to alligators.
Extensive human biomonitoring projects have also been supported by BAL to identify exposure risks for populations, source identification, forensics, as well as work related screening for short term and long-term exposures.
BAL currently supports over 20 different arsenic species in various tissue matrices using hyphenated techniques such as ion chromatography inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (IC-ICP-MS). Contact us today to discuss your project and how our collaboration will result in meeting or exceeding your data objectives.
Chromium Speciation Analyses
The complexity of chromium speciation analyses of tissue matrices necessitates monitoring molecular conversions during and after extraction and analyses to ensure the viability and defensibility of the results. Brooks Applied Labs has collaborated on numerous projects to elucidate the detoxification capacitance of humans with regards to exposure to hexavalent chromium as well as human exposure in the workplace. The application of speciation analytical techniques is limited for biological matrices due to the current technologies; however, technologies provided by Brooks Applied Labs can provide some answers. Contact us today to discuss your current or future projects or our historical research endeavors and publications.
Cobalt Speciation Analyses
Brooks Applied Labs has developed multiple methods for investigating the molecular form of cobalt in biological fluids. The current knowledge base regarding the biomolecular functionality of cobalt is limited in both lower and higher trophic organisms. Our experience in the field has targeted how the human body interacts with cobalt exposure, on both a localized and systemic level, for patients with orthopedic implants containing cobalt containing alloys. Through our research and publications our scientists have shed light on detoxification mechanisms as well as the presence of labile species that can exist in our cardiovascular systems.
Brooks Applied Labs has also developed alternate methods which focus on the measurement of cobalt cyanide complexes which are relatively stable and not readily degraded by simple chemical reactions.
Our experience in developing new methods, as well as validating them, has provided our scientists with the necessary tools to either apply our existing technologies to your projects or find new solutions. Feel free to contact us to either discuss your projects or our historical publications on the presented topics.
Biological samples are homogenized by various techniques, depending upon their specific matrix type. Dissection, chopping, cutting, grinding, and other techniques may be required to initially homogenize samples. All homogenization is performed using pre-cleaned commercial-grade homogenization equipment.
Homogenization blanks are typically analyzed for the analyte of interest to assess potential contamination of samples during the homogenization procedure. Homogenization blanks are collected on any new piece of homogenization equipment, whenever a new technician is homogenizing samples, or upon the request of the client.
International Tissue Sampling
Brooks Applied Labs holds a license from the United States Fish and Wildlife Service for the import/export of biological tissues, permitting receipt of tissue samples from overseas projects. This permit is required for any facility to receive and handle foreign tissues. Brooks Applied Labs also holds a permit from the Unites States Fish and Wildlife Service to allow the import, export, and possession of migratory birds.
Mercury and Methylmercury
Brooks Applied Labs is the foremost expert in the field of analyzing tissue samples for total and methylmercury. We have pioneered the methods for these analyses and have used our collective experience to continually modify and improve the methods over the past several decades.
Brooks Applied Labs recently demonstrated the superiority of the Appendix to EPA Method 1631 for the total mercury analysis of tissue samples. A comparison of data from samples prepared and analyzed in 2012 using both methods EPA 7471 and the Appendix to EPA Method 1631 demonstrated that mercury recoveries were consistently biased low by approximately 20% when prepared with EPA 7471. Download our “Does EPA Method 7471 Accurately Measure Mercury Concentrations in Fish?” poster.
Brooks Applied Labs has also developed a method for the methylmercury analysis of samples that contain dense keratin filaments (e.g., fur, feathers, nails, antlers). Analyses of these types of samples typically produced undetectable results that had little value in wildlife monitoring studies, because earlier digestion methods were not effective with these matrices. Development of an effective method was vital for nondestructive sample collection techniques for the determination of methylmercury concentrations in mammals and birds. Now, scientists involved in wildlife conservation studies have an excellent tool to assess the true impact of mercury contamination in the subject species without diminishing the population in the process. Download our Determining Methylmercury Concentrations in Mammals and Birds Utilizing Nondestructive Sample Collection Techniques Article.
Minimal Mass Options
Obtaining sufficient mass for analysis is often a concern for tissue samples. Whether it is due to a small target species or because a nondestructive sample collection technique is being used (e.g. blood samples collected into capillaries instead of 5-mL tubes, or collecting fish “plugs” instead of fillets) many researchers are frustrated with the lack of meaningful metals data that can be provided when their samples have a limited mass. Brooks Applied Labs offers among the most reliably low detection limits for metals in the environmental testing industry, which can often provide detectable results from tissue or blood samples as small as 20 mg.
Other Trace Element Speciation Analyses
The scientific understanding of metals interactions with organisms has nurtured the demand for technologies associated with molecular quantitation (speciation analyses) over the past forty years. Government agencies, academics, as well as many industries across the planet are focusing on how trace metals speciation analyses can answer questions associated with population risk assessments, worker’s health, exposure regulations, ecotoxicity, product viability, disease treatment and prevention, and bacterial activity for natural attenuation assessment (the planet fixes itself!). Brooks Applied Labs has been on the forefront for decades to expand the availability of analytical technologies as well as to develop so many new ones.
Opportunities for applying analytical technologies developed at Brooks Applied Labs are veritably boundless. That coupled with our capacity to generate new tools to answer ever increasingly complex questions, positions Brooks Applied Labs to be the partner your institution has been looking for. Contact us today to discuss your project and we will let you know, realistically, what technology as well as Brooks Applied Labs is capable of with regards to trace element speciation analyses.
Selenium Speciation Analyses
Selenium is a micronutrient for many organisms on the planet and has even been pursued as an oncology drug. Since the molecular form of selenium and the corresponding concentration will dictate its bioavailability, capacity for mutagenicity and fatality, as well as bioaccessibility the underlying importance of performing selenium speciation analysis in tissues is a given. Brooks Applied Labs has developed and applied multiple preparatory and analytical methods to support both small and macro molecular investigations regarding selenium exposure and metabolism.
Selenium chemistry in organisms is complex and is still being researched; however, when choosing a partner, the logical decision is to work with one that has the most experience as well as multiple analytical tools to meet or exceed your project’s or experiment’s data objectives.
Currently, Brooks Applied Labs uses various hyphenated techniques which takes advantage of the specific interactions of ionic, non-ionic, polar, and non-polar molecules with different liquid chromatographic systems. Contact us today to discuss your project, regardless of how large or small, and we can work together to advance your project and/or company to the next level.
Tissues and biological samples can contain high levels of compounds that commonly cause polyatomic interferences for the ICP-MS analysis of several elements. Brooks Applied Labs employs some of the most advanced technologies available to minimize analytical interferences, including dynamic reaction cell (DRC) and collision cell interference reduction technologies associated with all ICP-MS instruments, allowing for vastly more accurate determinations of arsenic, chromium, iron, and selenium concentrations in complex matrices like biological samples.
Brooks Applied Labs has some of the lowest detection limits commercially available to our clients. Contact Us to get a customized list of our current MDL/MRL’s for your project.
Tissue & Biological Samples News
Are your samples being properly prepared to avoid high bias due to interferences? EPA Method 1632A is the only EPA Method published for arsenic speciation in tissue samples, and it is usually the first choice for many regulatory-driven and government-funded projects....