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High throughput method for multielemental analysis of horse hair by oaTOF-ICP-MS

Jakub Návesník, Anna Krejčová, Tomáš Černohorský, Aneta Pátková, and Iveta Petrovická

Institute of Environmental and Chemical Engineering, University of Pardubice, Pardubice, Czech Republic



Abstract: An approach for high throughput reliable multielemental analysis of trace elements in a large number of horse hair samples was designed. Suitability of time-of-flight mass spectrometer (oaTOF-ICP-MS) for fast determination of unlimited numbers of isotopes in the low volume samples was demonstrated. Due to quasi-simultaneous capability of the oaTOF-ICP-MS the large number of highly valuated data with unaffected isotopic ratio in a very short time could be obtained. The choice of horse hair was obvious because of easy reachability and clear conception about horse nutritional habits and stabling. Such large data set with preserved isotopic ratios is ideal for statistical evaluation which could reveal some interesting interconnection between elemental composition of horse hair and the way of stabling, feeding, etc. Statistical treatment of the data is not a part of this study and will be presented later. We collected one hundred horse hair samples from horse stables through Czech Republic. Samples were washed by optimized washing process to eliminate exogenic contamination prior to digestion and following analysis. A determination of 36 elements (As, Au, B, Be, Cd, Ce, Co, Cr, Dy, Er, Eu, Ga, Gd, Ge, Ho, La, Li, Lu, Nd, Ni, Pb, Pd, Pr, Pt, Rb, Sb, Sc, Sm, Ta, Tb, Te, Tm, U, V, Y, Yb) in horse hair by oaTOF-ICP-MS was optimized. A throughput of 100 samples with unlimited numbers of isotopes per 6 h was achieved. Proposed very fast multielemental method preserves isotopic ratios, and therefore, is undoubtedly highly suitable for statistical studies. Detection limits of the proposed method ranged from 0.13 μg kg−1 (Eu, Gd, Tm) to 27.9 μg kg−1 (Au), except for Ni (48.5 μg kg−1) that is probably affected by contamination raised from nickel cones.

Keywords: High throughput method; Multielemental analysis; ICP-MS; Horse hair

Full paper is available at

DOI: 10.1007/s11696-016-0090-7


Chemical Papers 71 (5) 991–998 (2017)

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