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Quantitative localization of metals in biological tissue sections is critical to obtain insight into metal toxicity mechanisms or their beneficial characteristics. This study presents the development of a quantitative LA-ICP MS bioimaging methodology based on the polymer film strategy and internal standardization. To maximize the number of elements mapped, an aqueous soluble polymer (dextran) was selected. Among the elements studied, the great majority (eight out eleven), i.e., Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, Se, Mo, Cd and Pt, exhibited linear regression after LA-ICP MS analysis of metal-spiked polymer standards. Methodology performances were carefully assessed as a function of the three internal standards (In, Rh and Ir) considered, the analytical operational conditions (ICP power, addition of O2 to ICP, and laser fluency) and the thickness of the biological tissue section. The results indicated that three groups (Co, Mo; Ni, Cu, Pt; and Zn, Se, Cd) of elements could be distinguished from their analytical response as a function of analytical conditions and the internal standard. These different element behaviors appeared to be mainly First Ionization Potential dependent (FIP). For elements with lower FIP (Co, Ni, Cu, Mo and Pt), differential responses due to carbon load in the ICP MS plasma could be efficiently corrected as a function of analytical conditions. Matrix effects were more pronounced for higher FIP elements (i.e., Zn, Cd and Se), and analysis of <10-mu m thin sections without the addition of O-2 to ICP MS plasma is recommended. LODs are in the range of 0.1-0.5 mu g g(-1) for Co, Mo, Cu, Ni, Pt and Cd as well as 0.9 and 1 mu g g(-1) for Zn and Se, respectively. The methodology was validated by means of a homemade metal-spiked kidney homogenate analyzed by LA-ICP MS imaging, and Co, Ni, Cu, Mo, and Pt provided the closest concentrations (5-29% bias) to the target values determined by ICP MS after mineralization. The methodology was applied to two types of clinical human samples undergoing different sample preparation protocols that did not affect internal standard homogeneity in the polymer film. This methodology is the first reported for the quantitative bioimaging of eight elements simultaneously.


Arnaudguilhem, Carine;  Larroque, Marion;  Sgarbura, Olivia;  Michau, Dominique;  Quenet, Francois;  Carrere, Sebastien;  Bouyssiere, Brice;  Mounicou, Sandra

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