This work presents the development of a reference method by ICP-MS for the determination of iron in serum. To ensure the metrological traceability of the results, isotope dilution associated with ICP-MS (ID-ICP-MS) has been applied, which has the potential to be a primary measurement procedure. Method validation has been demonstrated through the use of a certified reference material (SRM 1598a) and the participation in an international comparison between National Metrology Institutes (BIPM-CCQM K107). The validated method is now available to support clinical laboratories in the evaluation of their measurement capabilities and for quality assurance and quality control programmes. In fact, this ID-ICP-MS method can be used to certify reference materials or to assign reference values to samples used in proficiency testing schemes. The feasibility has been tested on two unknown samples, i.e. BCR® -637, IRMM sample and an ANSM B17 sample (a material distributed during a National Quality Control programme).

Key words

metrological traceability
isotope dilution
primary measurement procedure
biomedical analysis