Direct, multielement determinations from cotton swipes via Plate Express microextraction coupled to an inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer, SOLATION® ICP-MS

Cameron J. Stouffer and R. Kenneth Marcus *


Cloth swipes are a fairly common sampling modality, having relevance across a wide variety of applications including environmental analysis, forensics, and bioassays. One of the biggest attractions of swipes (and related paper substrates) is the ease of sample collection and transportation, where just the swipe of a surface is required to collect particulates or solution phase species, with the substrate then readily transported to laboratory facilities. Additionally, the possibility to sample low-volume analytes, such as blood, gunshot residue, etc., provides additional benefits. The modes for the analytical sampling of the immobilized material vary greatly based on the means of analysis. These vary from direct solid analysis by a variety of optical probing methods, to solvent rinsing/extraction, and complete ashing/digestion of the cloth to liberate adsorbed species. Of the methods applied for elemental (metals) analysis of swipe materials, inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) is the most versatile in terms of coverage and sensitivity. Recently, a direct microextraction approach has been described for uranium isotope ratio determinations. Here, we describe the initial methodology development towards the use of the Advion Interchim Scientific® Plate Express microextraction device, coupled to an Advion Interchim Scientific® SOLATION® ICP-MS, for simultaneous, multielement analysis. Practical means of identifying test sites and evaluating elution quality are described. Methods of multielement quantification are identified with preliminary figures of merit presented. Finally, use of the method to quantify metals spiked into a synthetic urine matrix is demonstrated. While areas of improvement are clearly suggested, this rapid (<2 min) method of direct microextraction into the ICP (Ex-ICP-MS) shows great promise for use across diverse applications.

Advion Interchim Scientific® SOLATION® ICP-MS and Plate Express (Advion, Ithaca, NY) was utilized.

Blood Analysis using the Advion Interchim Scientific® SOLATION® ICP-MS

In this application note, we present a fast method for routine analysis of small volume blood samples for key toxic and essential elements using the Advion Interchim Scientific® SOLATION® Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometer (ICP-MS) using a simple “dilute and shoot” sample preparation.

Rapid Analysis Using Direct Microextraction Assays Coupled to the New SOLATION® ICP-MS

Recorded February 2, 2023: LIVE Location, the 2023 European Winter Conference on Plasma Spectrochemistry


Janez Ilaš, Ph. D., Professor, University of Ljubljana
Fadi Abou-Shakra, Director of Advion Interchim Scientific® ICP-MS Portfolio

Join Advion Interchim Scientific® with guest speaker from the University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Pharmacy, to learn more about a new novel sample introduction method for ICP-MS utilizing direct analysis via microextraction. First you will learn microextraction methods with the Plate Express TLC Plate/microextraction reader coupled to the single-quadrupole expression® Compact Mass Spectrometer (CMS). After understanding the basics of the platform, you will learn more about how this technology was reimagined to suit the SOLATION® ICP-MS for a rapid method to determine isotopic analysis faster and easier than ever before.

Ready to learn more?

Streamlined Benchtop Mass Spectrometry for the Pharmaceutical Industry

Maximize your analytical spectroscopy workflow in pharmaceutical applications—even with limited space at the bench. This session features innovative solutions for streamlining everyday needs in the lab, including reaction monitoring utilizing fast, prep-free sample introduction techniques for answers in seconds. You will also learn the latest technology in heavy metal analysis, as well as purification tools to maximize your scale-up efforts.

As a viewer, you will learn more about:

  • How to obtain direct mass analysis from TLC plates in seconds
  • Prep-free mass sampling techniques such as a direct analysis probe
  • How heavy metal analysis technology has improved for maximum use in the pharmaceutical lab
  • How scale-up needs can be met with the latest purification technologies

Soil Analysis using the Advion Interchim Scientific® SOLATION® ICP-MS

In this application note we present a method for routine analysis of 21 elements using the Advion Interchim Scientific® SOLATION® Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometer (ICP-MS). A group of unknown soil samples and a CRM were digested using EPA 3051a and analyzed according to method 6020a requirements.

Mass Spectrometry for Teaching Chemistry Undergraduates – The expression® CMS & the SOLATION® ICP-MS

Recorded November 3, 2022: Featured talk in the LCGC Mass Spectrometry Symposium

Join Fadi Abou-Shakra, Director of ICP-MS Portfolio for Advion Interchim Scientific®, as he shares some of the organization’s latest mass spectrometry applications for the teaching lab. This includes student-friendly experiments using a compact single-quadrupole system, as well as simplified ICP-MS applications.

Fadi Abou-shakra started using ICP-MS in 1987 applying it for the analysis of trace elements in biological fluids and has been active in the field of atomic spectroscopy since then. He holds an MSc in Medical Physics and a PhD in Chemistry from the University of Surrey, England. He brings a wealth of experience in ICP-MS as a researcher, customer support specialist and a business manager.

Ready to learn more?

Tips and Tricks for Challenging ICP-MS Applications

Lab Manager Ask the Expert Webinar. Recorded September 15, 2022

Out of your element? Don’t be! This webinar features innovative cannabis and blood applications, plus tips and tricks to maximize throughput, precision, and sensitivity when utilizing ICP-MS technology. Performed using the Advion Interchim Scientific SOLATION® ICP-MS featuring a state-of-the-art sample introduction from Glass Expansion, this session is a must-see for any user or future user seeking tools for heavy metal analysis.

As a viewer, you will learn more about:

  • How to perform heavy metal analysis of cannabis plants using the SOLATION® ICP-MS
  • Simple methods for blood and plasma analysis that any lab can perform
  • How spray chamber performance can affect long-term system stability

Webinar speakers include:

Dr. Fadi Abou-Shakra
Director of ICP-MS Portfolio
Advion Interchim Scientific 

Joseph Brady
ICP-MS Application Scientist
Advion Interchim Scientific

Dr. Ryan Brennan
Glass Expansion

SOLATION®, A New ICP-MS for the Detection of Heavy Metals in Cannabis and Hemp

Cannabis and hemp products are becoming much more available for medicinal and recreational use making routine testing for toxic heavy metals much more important. Advion Interchim Scientific® introduces the SOLATION® ICP-MS for the analysis of heavy metals in cannabis plant and cannabis product samples. While there are no federal guidelines for heavy metals in cannabis, states where cannabis use and production are legal have adopted exposure limits and QC criteria for Arsenic, Cadmium, Mercury, and Lead based on USP<233>. Here, we report the results of our sample analysis using these guidelines.

This poster was presented at the 2021 ASMS conference in Philadelphia, PA, USA.

Analyzing the World Around Us: Tools for Environmental Testing & Monitoring

Environmental monitoring is vital to understanding the world around us. Air quality, water, and soil testing all provide valuable information about an environment’s status. Tools and technologies for environmental monitoring can be used to evaluate the sanitation of a food and beverage lab or to monitor an ecosystem’s recovery after an oil spill. Join Lab Manager and our panel of experts as we review the tools available for environmental testing and monitoring.

As an attendee, you will learn more about:

  • Developments in technology for environmental testing and monitoring
  • Considerations when purchasing technology for environmental testing and monitoring
  • Applications for environmental testing and monitoring across industries

This webinar was hosted by Lab Manager Tech Trends and recorded July 9, 2020.