Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS), which is an excellent tool for trace elemental analysis, was studied as a method of detecting sub-part-per-106 (ppm) concentrations of aluminum in surrogates of human tissue. Tissue was modeled using a 2% agarose gelatin doped with an Al2O3 nanoparticle suspension. A calibration curve created with standard reference samples of known Al concentrations was used to determine the limit of detection, which was less than 1 ppm. Rates of false negative and false positive detection results for a much more realistic sampling methodology were also studied, suggesting that LIBS could be a candidate for the real-time in vivo detection of metal contamination in human soft tissue.
Adamson, M.D. and Rehse, Steven J.. (2007). Detection of trace Al in model biological tissue with laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy. Applied Optics, 46 (23), 5844-5852.