Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry

, Volume 380, Issue 2, pp 198–203 | Cite as

Application of SEC-ICP-MS for comparative analyses of metal-containing species in cancerous and healthy human thyroid samples

  • Sergei F. Boulyga
  • Valeria Loreti
  • Jörg Bettmer
  • Klaus G. Heumann
Special Issue Paper


Size exclusion chromatography (SEC) was coupled on-line to inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) for speciation study of trace metals in cancerous thyroid tissues in comparison to healthy thyroids aimed to estimation of changes in metalloprotein speciation in pathological tissue. The study showed a presence of species binding Cu, Zn, Cd and Pb in healthy thyroid tissue with a good reproducibility of chromatographic results, whereas the same species could not be detected in cancerous tissues. Thus, remarkable differences with respect to metal-binding species were revealed between healthy and pathological thyroid samples, pointing out a completely different distribution of trace metals in cancerous tissues. The metal-binding species could not be identified in the frame of this work because of a lack of appropriate standards. Nevertheless, the results obtained confirm the suitability of SEC-ICP-MS for monitoring of changes in trace metal distribution in cancerous tissue and will help to better understand the role of metal-containing species in thyroid pathology.


Thyroid cancer Metal speciation Metalloprotein Size exclusion chromatography Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry 



This work was carried out within the DFG-Graduiertenkolleg 826 Trace analysis of elemental species: method developments and applications. The authors therefore thank the German Research Council (DFG) for financial support. The authors are grateful to Prof. A.F. Malenchenko for preparation of thyroid samples.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sergei F. Boulyga
    • 1
  • Valeria Loreti
    • 1
  • Jörg Bettmer
    • 1
  • Klaus G. Heumann
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Inorganic Chemistry and Analytical ChemistryJohannes Gutenberg-UniversityMainzGermany

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