Funds are requested for a femtosecond infrared laser ablation (FIRLA) platform for coupling (hyphenation) to the NCRR-funded high-resolution sector field ICP mass spectrometer (SF-ICP-MS) located at the Center for Biometals and Metallomics at Boston University. The hyphenated FIRLA-SF-ICP-MS system will enable unprecedented ultra-trace elemental and isotopic mapping studies conducted by over forty innovative research teams representing leading institutions throughout the region and across the globe. The hyphenated system will be the first such dedicated biometallomic resource of its kind in the nation. Femtosecond laser ablation technology provides unprecedented spatial resolution with greatly improved analytical accuracy and precision with minimal collateral thermal damage, thus affording for the first time ultra-trace elemental and isotopic mapping studies in biological specimens at micron resolution. The requested shared resource will facilitate a wide range of innovative research conducted by leading interdisciplinary teams at Boston University School of Medicine, Boston University School of Public Health, Harvard Medical School, Harvard School of Public Health, Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham &Women's Hospital, United States Geological Service, Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Museum of Ireland, Queen's University, and the University of Melbourne. Deployment of the proposed hyphenated instrument at the NCRR-supported Center for Biometals and Metallomics will accelerate lead-edge discovery in Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, traumatic brain injury, ocular disorders, environmental toxicology, cancer biology, micronutrient physiology, sepsis and inflammation, biometallomic osteoarcheology, forensic pathology, military medicine, and nanotherapeutics. The requested instrument will be managed as a shared resource allied to other regional resources at Boston University, including the NCRR Mass Spectrometry Resource, NIA Alzheimer's Disease Center, NCRR Clinical and Translational Science Institute, the Framingham Study, and the Boston University Photonics Center. The CBM is staffed by an expert analytical team with over two decades of experience in biomedical metallomic analyses, laser ablation, laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy, elemental and isotopic ICP-MS, and optical emission spectroscopy. The Principal Investigator and Advisory Committee will promote equitable access and cost-effective utilization of this unique analytical resource. This shared instrument and allied core resource will facilitate establishment of a National Center of Excellence in metallomics and catalyze scientific discovery at the forefront of this important new field.

Public Health Relevance

Funds are requested for an ultra-fast laser for metallomic tissue mapping at the NCRR-funded Center for Biometals &Metallomics, Boston University. This shared resource will support pioneering research in Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, traumatic brain injury, lung cancer, environmental toxicology, and nanomedicine.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Center for Research Resources (NCRR)
Biomedical Research Support Shared Instrumentation Grants (S10)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-BCMB-D (30))
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Birken, Steven
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Boston University
Schools of Medicine
United States
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Craddock, Travis J A; Tuszynski, Jack A; Chopra, Deepak et al. (2012) The zinc dyshomeostasis hypothesis of Alzheimer's disease. PLoS One 7:e33552