The use of LA–MC–ICPMS in anthropological research is an innovative approach for measuring strontium isotopic ratios of human enamel. This technique, due to its micro-destructivity, allows to exam 87Sr/86Sr on precious human remains, without the drawbacks of the dissolution method. Despite this advantage, the laser ablation technique (LA) is not without flaws, principally related to unavoidable analytical interferences. For these reasons, data obtained with the laser are usually less precise and accurate than data obtained with the classical dissolution method. In particular, problematic interferences are represented by 86Kr formed in the gas, by double-charged REE (Rare Earth Element), by 87Rb, and by other polyatomic isobaric interferences (i.e. 44Ca40Ar, 40Ca44Ca, 40Ca13P16O). In this work, we measured the Sr isotopic ratio of a shark tooth with both dissolution and LA method, to test the precision of the LA method. A shark tooth is a bio-apatite formed in a marine environment, thus its 87Sr/86Sr ratio reflects the modern marine ratio of ~0.7092. Our preliminary laser analyses show that we are able to reproduce the isotopic ratio of our shark tooth obtained by Sr chromatographic separation and HR–MC–ICPMS with a precision to the fourth decimal place and that this ratio reflects the modern sea water value. If confirmed by further studies, our preliminary results suggest that the LA technique is a reliable method to explore hominin movement and migrations.
In situ strontium isotope analysis on biogenic apatite: the use of Laser Ablation and Multi Collector Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometer (LA–MC–ICPMS) in anthropological research / Lugli, Federico; Cipriani, Anna; Reghizzi, Matteo; Brunelli, Daniele; Benazzi, Stefano. - (2015). (Intervento presentato al convegno Towards a Next-Generation Anthropology: challenges and synergies tenutosi a Bologna – Ravenna nel 3-5 September 2015).