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Norris Cotton Cancer Center
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Trace Element Analysis Services and Equipment


  • Three Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS) instruments
  • Two collision cell quadrupole ICP-MS systems and one high-resolution ICP-MS.
  • Laser ablation system (elemental mapping of biological thin sections)
  • Liquid chromatography (arsenic speciation) and gas chromatography (mercury speciation)


Trace metals in solutions, trace metals in solids, Arsenic speciation, mercury speciation, elemental profiling of biological tissue thin sections. Turnaround time is 2-3 weeks depending on batch size and samples analysis type.  

The fee-per-service includes analysis of up to 14 elements of the user’s choosing.  Please consult with Brian Jackson for more details. In general ICP-MS is suitable for the quantification of most elements except C, H, O, N, F, and noble gases.

The TEA Core follows the general quality control criteria outlined in EPA SW846.  We use a comprehensive suite of NIST standard reference materials and include analysis and digestion duplicates and spikes in each run.  Instruments are calibrated for each batch analysis and calibration is verified throughout the run.  The TEA Core also participates in external proficiency tests for analysis of blood, serum, urine and hair 3 times per annum and other external assessments for more specialized analysis such as arsenic speciation in foods and mercury speciation in water on an annual basis.


From 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, samples can be dropped off at Steele 224. The sample drop-off sheet should be completed at that time. E-mail Brian Jackson with any questions about the analysis or requests for analysis types not listed above.  Results are returned as concentrations of trace elements in the samples as they were supplied to the lab.