While selenium’s basic biogeochemistry determines its natural distribution in the environment, historically, research on selenium has focused almost exclusively on total selenium concentrations in soils, sediments, water, and plants. Whereas such data is invaluable in establishing relative concentrations, it does very little to further understanding of how selenium cycles through the environment and the ultimate fate and effect of the rapidly increasing quantities being introduced by modern agricultural, mining, and energy generation practices. Individual inorganic selenium valence states and organic selenocompounds can exhibit entirely different characteristics. Furthermore, bioavailability and therefore toxicity are highly contingent on the selenium species in question.
An understanding of which selenium species are present in a wide range of matrices, including water, soil, sediments, wildlife, pharmaceuticals, dietary supplements, human urine, blood, and serum, and industrial wastewater streams, can be crucial when making important decisions regarding human health, industrial processes, and the environment.
Brooks Applied Labs offers highly advanced analytical services for the determination and characterization of selected selenium species by our customized methods coupling an array of chromatographic systems with inductively coupled plasma – mass spectrometry (ICP-MS), employing interference removal technologies (DRC, CRC, and QQQ). The chromatographic conditions are selected to the specific sample matrix and chemical properties of the target molecules (e.g. macromolecules, ionic, amino acids, proteins, volatile compounds, metabolic intermediates). Our scientific approach allows for multi-element and multi-isotopic detection, high sensitivity, a wide linear dynamic range, and minimal polyatomic interferences. This allows us to separate and quantify selected selenium species in even the most complex matrices while maintaining ultra-low detection limits.
Brooks Applied Labs performs selenium speciation by IC-ICP-MS on the following species: