FAQ & Queries

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have additional questions, please Contact Us.

You can learn more about how to submit contact information and details for your sample analysis by going to Request Services.
You may choose to drop off your samples or mail them to our laboratory (see Contact Us).

Please include a list of Sample IDs with your samples and have your corresponding labels with your samples.

Yes! We accept samples from the public as well as other labs, companies, and universities.

You can submit contact information and details for your sample analysis by going to Request Services. Your samples may be dropped off or mailed to our laboratory (see Contact Us). Please include a list of Sample IDs with your samples. 

No. We can give you an idea of the elemental content in your water, however we are not state-accredited to determine whether your water is safe.

We accept a variety of samples, including liquid and solid samples from environmental and biological sources, including samples of soil, plants, cells, blood, tissue, buffers, and metals. For an extended list, please see Available Services. If you are unsure about your sample, please Contact Us with your questions.

We do not need a large sample to do the analyses.

For most solid biological samples, we require each sample to be no less than 20 mg and no more than 500 mg.

For solid inorganic samples such as dirt, 1 gram is sufficient. For liquids, such as blood or water, we recommend submitting 0.2 – 1.0 mL per sample (depending on the concentration of elements of interest).

For cell cultures and bacteria, we recommend sending us no less than 106 cell/bacteria per sample.

You can submit samples unprepared and we will prepare them for a small fee, (see Pricing).

If you want to prepare your own samples, please refer to the  Preparing Sample Submissions for details on how to prepare your samples.

Please Contact Us if you have questions regarding an unusual sample.

Also note, if you prepare your own samples you will also need to submit a blank sample that was prepared identically to your samples.

Yes, Semiquantitative Determination of Elemental Content can be used to determine the relative content of detectable elements. 

ICP-MS methods can detect most naturally occurring elements other than Nobel Gases, Carbon (C), Hydrogen (H), Nitrogen (N), and Oxygen (O); Chlorine (Cl), Fluorine (F), Sulfur (S), Phosphorus (P), Selenium (Se), Bromine (Br), and Silicon (Si) can be detected, but only at much higher levels >10 ppt.  A diagram specific to our model of ICP-MS showing our detection limits can be found here Agilent 7700 periodic table.

For more information about this, and other services that we offer please see our Available Services page.

Unfortunately, no, ICP-MS is not capable of distinguishing between these.

Yes! ICP-MS can distinguish between different isotopes of the same element.

Turnaround time varies depending upon the type and number of samples, and whether we are preparing the samples. Turnaround time is typically between 2 and 6 weeks.

We will send you your results in the form of an excel spreadsheet along with a sample and measurement report on how the samples were prepared, the instrument conditions, and any other relevant information, to see what this would look like please see Example Report.

We do not routinely return your samples; however, we can return unused material back to you at your cost, Contact Us if this is a service that you wish to use.

We usually keep any leftover samples (digested or solutions) for up to one year before disposing of them, free of charge.

For general ICP-MS analysis the Core offers the first five elements at a reasonable base fee per sample dependent on your affiliation with OHSU, with additional elements and services that can be added on for an additional fee.

We do offer bulk discounts, and have a minimum order of $100, for more information please refer to Pricing for the price ranges for our most popular services.

We offer experimental consultation, please see Pricing for more details and Contact Us to get in touch.

We offer a brief overview of ICP-MS on our webpage, including a page about ICP-MS as a Technique. Additionally, our Education & Links section has a number of resources.

Please explore our sections on expanded uses of ICP-MS:

  Learn more about applications of ICP-MS by consulting us