Determination of Zn, Cu and Fe in human patients' serum using micro-sampling ICP-MS and sample dilution

Tharwat N. Abduljabbar*, Barry L. Sharp, Helen J. Reid, Neda Barzegar-Befroeid, Tunde Peto, Imre Lengyel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


A high-throughput, sensitive and rapid method was developed for the determination of Zn, Cu and Fe in small volumes (30 μL) of human serum using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). The sample preparation procedure employed simple 100-fold dilution of the serum samples with 1.0% butanol, 0.5% v/v ammonia, 0.02% v/v Triton X-100 and 0.01% v/v HNO3. The reliability of the method was evaluated using serum UTAK certified reference material, and the results matched well with the certified values. The method was applied to determine Zn, Cu and Fe in 81 human serum samples from participants in Alzheimer disease (AD) and age-related macular degeneration (AMD) studies. No significant differences were found in Zn and Cu levels between age matched controls, AD and AMD patients. Whilst iron levels appeared marginally higher in the AMD group, compared with the AD group, iron showed larger overall variability than the other two elements.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)663-669
Number of pages7
Early online date31 May 2019
Publication statusPublished - 01 Nov 2019


  • AD
  • AMD
  • ICP-MS
  • Serum analysis
  • Trace elements

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry


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