Isotopic NATURAL variation in Biology and Medecine
This page is designed to explain that the measurement of natural isotopic composition of metallic elements is not exclusively reserved for geochemistry and can be applied to both biology and medecine.
Since 2007, our group is working on different applications of isotopes of copper, iron and zinc in biological samples from healthy subjects or patients such as whole blood, serum or tissue. These samples were obtained from humans, sheep and mice with disease more or less complex.
These studies have shown a number of things that have been published or are in the process of writing and we are continuing our studies on calcium and sulfur isotop composition. For example, a batch of ten cloned mice was studied and it was possible to show that the isotopic composition of iron and zinc in whole blood of these is completely the same as the isotopic composition of copper is not. In fact, these mice have a management that is specific for copper while the processes involving iron and zinc are very similar. Similarly, healthy people were followed for three years and the results showed that the isotopy of iron, copper is a constant and is not related to a genetic factor (no similar value between father, mother, child).
Our work is supported by the Bulukian Foundation, Merieux Institute, CNRS and INSERM. Many results as they have been put in evidence in recent years showed the new potential of ICP-MS (quadrupole and multicollection) biology and medicine. It will be the future technique of choice for use in hospitals or research for new drugs and for diagnostics.
2013 : Our work was able to create a new biomarker for cancer diagnosis and prognosis more effiecient than markers usually used (CEA or CAXX.X). Particularly natural isotopic variations of copper showed a very good correlation with the cancer status of patients during 28 longitudinal studies. It takes only 200 µl of serum to have the information, no need to add any tracer, this is just NATURAL isotopic variation.
IMPORTANT : This work was done by using isotopic NATURAL variation and it not need any addition of marked isotopes or any addition of anything else. Just use a whole bood or serum sampling from the patient.
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