Treatment of Biological Material
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Every conceivable analytical technique has been applied to the determination of elemental concentrations of biological systems’ — some methods are more useful than others; the two main techniques currently in widespread use are neutron activation analysis (regrettably not a technique that can be handled by junior student bio-inorganic chemists) and atomic spectrophotometry (emission, fluorescence, and absorption). Since the distribution of elements (the ionogram) in animals and plants reflects the ionogram of the hydrosphere it is not surprising that, for practically every element being analysed, humans are capable of contaminating the sample with some additional traces of the element from their own fingers, breath, hairs, clothing, etc. This interaction between the worker and his materials is known as ‘handling difficulties’. Thus, the laboratory investigation of clinical and pathological states requires reliable methods, technical skill and adequate instrumentation.
Recommended Further Reading
- G. S. Fell and H. Smith (1976). ‘General Analytical Methods’, in An Introduction to Bio-inorganic Chemistry, Ed. D. R. Williams, C. C. Thomas, Springfield, Illinois, 254–280Google Scholar
- T. A. Hyde and T. F. Draisey (1974). Principles of Chemical Pathology, Butterworths, LondonGoogle Scholar
- A. I. Vogel (1966). A Textbook of Quantitative Inorganic Analysis, Longmans, London, 3rd edn.Google Scholar