The Laboratory will be a regional center for analytical chemistry in anthropology, including the multielemental analysis of archaeological bone samples, the implementation of complete toxicological analyses from biological samples (blood, urine, bone, hair, nails etc.). The Laboratory expertise will be based on high performance techniques such as ICP-MS/MS, GC-MS/MS and LC-MS/MS, which complement each other and provide complete insight into the human body’s chemical burden (heavy metals, metalloids, trace elements, pesticides, herbicides, antibiotics, narcotics and other drugs). It is a fact that analytical chemistry in anthropology is one of the most propulsive areas of anthropological and forensic sciences and almost every disease or condition of a human organism is related to the influence of particular chemicals.

This is particularly associated with complex diseases, including obesity, and one of the main pathways of the intake of chemicals into the human body is nutrition.

The most important equipment of the laboratory:

  • Agilent 8900 ICP-QQQ (Laser ablation system Teledyne Cetac Technologies LSX−213G2+HELEX as front end)
    • Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry.The instrument enables multielemental analysis and quantification at the trace/ultratrace level in a wide range of matrices of biological and non-biological origin. The laser ablation system enables the analysis of microscopically precisely selected parts of the sample, whether they are skeletal archaeological remains, samples of solid organs or artifacts of non-biological origin. The autosampler for liquid samples allows the analysis of fluids of both biological (blood, serum / plasma, urine, saliva, aqueous humor…) and non-biological origin (water, liquid food….).It is still the leading ICP-QQQ instrument on the market, and in combination with the aforementioned laser ablation system, it is an extremely rare platform even at the European level, according to our current knowledge.
  • Agilent 6550 iFunnel Q-TOF LC/MS (Agilent 1290 UHPLC as front end)
    • Ultra-high performance liquid chromatography coupled to Q-TOF type mass spectrometry.The instrument enables qualitative and quantitative analysis of soluble compounds (at the trace/ultratrace level), as well as large molecules (amino acids, peptides, proteins, lipids, complex compounds…) in a wide variety of matrices of biological and non-biological origin. Even though the mass detector is of the Q-TOF type, the sensitivity of the instrument allows confirmation comparable to the triple quadrupole level. It is still the leading instrument of this type on the market.
  • Agilent 7250 GC/Q-TOF (Agilent 8890 GC as front end)
    • Gas chromatography coupled to Q-TOF type mass spectrometry.The device enables qualitative and quantitative (at the trace/ultratrace level) analysis of (easily) volatile compounds in a wide range of matrices of biological and non-biological origin. Although being the Q-TOF type mass detector, the sensitivity of the device also allows for the confirmation at the triple quadrupole level. It is still the leading device of this type on the market.

Head of Laboratory for Chemical Analytics: Miran Čoklo, MD, PhD

Contact e-mail: miran.coklo@inantro.hr