The Trace Element Laboratory at Charing Cross Hospital (Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust) became an SAS laboratory in 2008, but has been providing a comprehensive trace element service to local and national laboratories since the mid 1980s. The laboratory has been active in developing new analytical methods and in research in trace element biochemistry. All assays are now performed by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICPMS) and is the only clinical laboratory in the UK to be able to offer measurements by high resolution ICPMS as well as quadrupole DRC ICPMS. The laboratory is led by a consultant clinical scientist and has a staff team performing the routine and development assays.
The laboratory provides a comprehensive analytical service ‘from lithium to uranium’ and can cope with all unusual requests. Quality of the service is assured by participation in several EQA programmes including NEQAS from Birmingham and Guildford and the Quebec multielement ICPMS scheme. Any assays that are not readily available can be referred to one of the other SAS trace element labs with expertise in that area. Turnround times for assays are generally less than a week. Results are available on the department’s web-based report service: https://www.theassaylab.com
The laboratory has developed a number of special interests:
- Genetic defects of trace element metabolism, using stable isotope methods for studying trace element metabolism. There is a special interest in hyperzincaemia with hypercalprotectinaemia.
- Metal binding proteins in serum.
- Metal metabolism in renal failure.
- Metal release from surgical implants.
- Imaging of trace element distribution in tissues using laser ablation ICPMS.
- Stable isotope ratio measurement using multi-collector ICPMS in collaboration with Earth Sciences at Imperial College (Dr Mark Rekhamper).
Director: Mr Barry Sampson
Ground Floor Medical Oncology Block
Charing Cross Hospital,
Fulham Palace Road,
Tel:+44 (0)20 3313 3644
Fax:+44 (0)20 3311 1443