Human tooth enamel provides a nearly permanent and chronological record of an individual’s nutritional status and anthropogenic trace metal exposure during development; it might thus provide an excellent bio archive. We investigated the micro-spatial distribution of trace metals (Cu, Fe, Mg, Sr, Pb, and Zn) in 196×339 μm2 raster pattern areas (6.6×104 μm2) in a deciduous tooth using laser ablation-inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (LA–ICP–MS). Ablated areas include prenatal and postnatal enamel, the neonatal line, the dentine–enamel junction (DEJ), dentine, and the dentine–pulp junction. Topographic variations in the surface elemental distribution of lead, zinc, strontium, and iron intensities in a deciduous tooth revealed heterogeneous distribution within and among regions. 43Ca normalized elemental intensities showed the following order: Sr>Mg>>Zn>Pb>Fe>Cu. Elevated zinc and lead levels were present in the dental pulp region and at the neonatal line. This study demonstrates the ability of LA–ICP–MS to provide unique elemental distribution information in micro spatial areas of dental hard tissues. Elemental distribution plots could be useful in decoding nutrition and pollution information embedded in their bio apatite structure.
Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 5, 2004
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