Aqueous calibration solutions were used and the scandium internal standard successfully corrected for the varying viscosity of the sample. Scandium also exhibits signal suppression because of ionization interference and therefore compensates for part of the signal suppression of the other elements.
The addition of cesium as an ionization buffer considerably reduced the effect of ionization interference and the need for dilution, allowing both major, minor and trace constituents to be measured in a single analysis.
With the addition of cesium, all measured values were in very good agreement with the certified values for the Seronorm Trace Elements Serum sample, confirming the accuracy of the method.
The microconcentric nebulizer performed very well with no blockage ever occurring during the analysis of the blood serum. Sensitivity of the microconcentric nebulizer with an uptake rate of 160 μL/min was estimated as approximately half that of the standard high flow concentric nebulizer operating at an uptake rate of 1.5 mL/min. The sensitivity could have been improved by increasing the uptake rate but 160 μL/min appeared to be a good comprise between sufficient sensitivity, particularly for Al, and low sample consumption.
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