Success Stories

UOL Installs Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy Machine at CRIMM Lab

Department Report

This month Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy (AAS) machine was successfully installed and is now fully operational at the Institute of Molecular Biology (IMBB)/ Centre of Research in Molecular Medicine (CRIMM), The University of Lahore, Pakistan.

AAS is a widely used and accepted technique capable of determining trace (µg/mL) and ultra-trace (sub µg/mL) levels of elements (or) metals in a wide variety of samples, including biological, clinical, environmental, food and geological samples, with good accuracy and acceptable precision. It has found several advantages over conventional emission spectral methods.

The inauguration of the machine was done by the Chairman BOG Mr. Awais Raoof at CRIMM laboratory.

How it operates

It employs spectro-analytical procedure for the quantitative determination of chemical elements using the absorption of optical radiation (light) by free atoms in the gaseous state. It uses lights of different wavelengths in which specific element absorbs metal or metalloids present in specific aqueous samples. And it vaporises metals in the samples and thermally atomizes it with flame.

Element related light source which is created with the help of (hollow cathode lamp), intensity in between sample and reference beams generates a signal which is later detected. Most frequently used flame is acetylene/air flame (2200-2400°C), whereas, heat-resistant, oxide-forming elements such as Al, Si, V, Ti, an acetylene/nitrous oxide flame (2600-2800°C) which provides a more favourable chemical, thermal and optical environment. It can also detect elements with the detection limit of few mg/kg (ppm) depending upon the element under analysis.

Equipment significance

In analytical chemistry the technique can be used for the quantitative determination of over 50 metals and metalloids in biological fluids and tissues such as whole blood, plasma, urine, saliva, brain tissue, liver, muscle tissue, semen etc. It is the most suitable technique for the analysis of trace elements in bulk drugs and pharmaceuticals. It provides a major service to the pharmaceutical industry in the analysis of heavy metals in drugs.

Installation of such high-tech equipment is spot-on for UOL students and faculty academics. It is a great addition to the IMBB laboratory and researchers of the University are eager to make use of it.

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