Perspective Article on Multielemental Imaging with Laser Ablation ICP–TOFMS in May Issue of Spectroscopy

Laser Ablation and Inductively Coupled Plasma–Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry—A Powerful Combination for High-Speed Multielemental Imaging on the Micrometer Scale

Yannick Bussweiler, Olga Borovinskaya, Martin Tanner
Spectroscopy, Volume 32, Issue 5, pg 14–20, May 01, 2017

In the cover article of the May, 2017 issue of Spectroscopy, members of our icpTOF team describe recent advances in laser ablation (LA) and ICP-MS technology that are enabling high-speed, multielemental imaging of biological and geological samples on the micrometer scale.    In particular, this movement has been driven by simultaneous improvements in (i) the design of fast-washout laser ablation cells and (ii) the speed and sensitivity of time-of-flight (TOF) mass spectrometers.

The authors demonstrate the state-of-the-art in LA-ICP-MS imaging by coupling a TOFWERK icpTOF with fast-washout LA systems from ESI and Teledyne Cetac for two different analyses.   The first experiment looks at trace elements in a polished thin section of the mineral sphalerite (ZnS) displaying distinct internal growth zoning.    Imaging of the 1 x 2 mm area with 5-um resolution clearly reveals distinct distribution patterns for different elements.   In the second example, a thin section of a rat kidney that was perfused with the anti-tumor agent cisplatin is imaged in order to examine distribution of Pt across different regions of the kidney.

The authors conclude that “Because of the recent technological advances in laser-ablation cell design and time-of-flight mass spectrometry, the method of LA-ICP-TOF-MS for high-speed, high-spatial resolution, multielemental imaging is poised to become an important analytical tool for researchers from various scientific disciplines. The recent progress will be further exploited by the development of high-performance data reduction software to support spot-resolved quantification strategies.”

Read the complete article about imaging with laser ablation ICP-TOFMS at