Standardization in biological analyses of aluminum: What are the needs?

M. A. Lovell, W. D. Ehmann, W. R. Markesbery, S. Melethil, C. R. Swyt, P. F. Zatta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


A review of the literature of aluminum (Al) levels in biological samples, particularly Alzheimer’s disease (AD) brain, reveals a lack of interlaboratory agreement at both the bulk and microprobe levels. One possible reason for this controversy may be the methods chosen for quantitation and standardization. Currently, the major problem affecting quantitation of Al at the bulk level is the lack of low-Al-concentration, matrix-matched certified standards. Although a number of certified aluminum bulk standards are available, most do not match well in matrix with the samples of interest. A similar situation exists for microprobe standards in which commercially available pure metal foils and thin films of materials, such as metal oxides, are available but again do not match well in matrix. A review of the current status of quantitation of Al levels in biological analyses at the bulk and microprobe level is presented. Future directions to develop standards include the submission of currently used microprobe standards to a central laboratory for critical analysis and selection of the optimum standard, followed by establishment of interlaboratory and intertechnique comparisons. Other future directions include the adaptation of a standard protocol for the selection of tissue for analysis and criteria for data rejection, as well as the development of a standard system for data normalization and reporting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)637-648
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Toxicology and Environmental Health
Issue number6
StatePublished - Aug 1996

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Biomedical Engineering and Instrumentation Program, National Center for Research Resources, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pollution


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