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Title: Novel applications of stable isotope tracing methods in biomedical and environmental sciences
Author: Larner, Fiona Claire
Awarding Body: Imperial College London
Current Institution: Imperial College London
Date of Award: 2012
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The use of multiple-collector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (MC-ICP-MS) for trace element stable isotope ratio analysis has been well established within geochemistry since its conception. The utilization of this high precision technique has since progressed to some environmental applications; however, the use of this tool in biological and biomedical work is limited to few studies. The aim of this thesis is to establish viable techniques to enable high precision isotope analyses of Cu and Zn in biological media, and demonstrate these methods via several collaborative pilot studies across biomedicine and ecotoxicology. For this, a new method for the separation of copper from biological materials to enable accurate and precise Cu isotope analyses (±0.10 ‰) has been developed. This has been applied to a study that, with the use of a 65Cu enriched stable isotope tracer, shows that abnormalities of the human copper metabolism exist in those with Parkinson’s disease. The first Zn isotope analyses of various engineered ZnO nanomaterials (NMs) has been performed, which in conjunction with an extensive literature survey and modelling studies, has shown that highly selective and sensitive detection of ZnO NMs can only be achieved with the use of purpose made isotopically labelled ZnO NMs. This is in part due to the high natural background levels of this element and relatively low Zn concentrations involved in ecotoxicologically relevant exposures. This concept has been successfully implemented to investigate ZnO NM uptake by an estuarine invertebrate, and has shown that Zn from ZnO nanoparticles is bioavailable to these organisms. These pilot studies have shown that there is vast scope for high precision isotope analyses of trace metals in life sciences, and support the transition of such investigations to full-scale studies.
Supervisor: Rehkamper, Mark ; Weiss, Dominik ; Sampson, Barry ; Valsami-Jones, Eugenia Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available