New Advances in the Use of Molecular Emission Created by LIBS for Fluoride Imaging in Medicine

Apr 19, 2023
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About This Webinar
Laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) and laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) are becoming increasingly important tools for analysis and imaging in medicine. They allow for the measurement and quantification of element distributions in teeth, bone, hair, and soft tissue. These tools are used progressively to better understand health conditions, the effects of medical treatments, and to reconstruct environmental exposure timelines in large epidemiological studies. One such environmental exposure of growing interest is fluoride, which has been associated with neuro and renal toxicity.

Capturing the timing of fluoride exposure is a crucial aspect of studying its health effects. Teeth are an ideal matrix for studying fluoride exposure as they grow incrementally, and fluoride has a strong affinity for calcium. However, determining fluoride distribution in teeth has been challenging due to high detection limits and the lack of suitable standards for most imaging methods. To address this issue, a new methodology has been developed using calcium fluoride (CaF) molecular emission by LIBS to quantify fluoride in teeth.

Additionally, a new hydroxyapatite standard material has been developed to measure fluoride distribution in teeth. Doped sintered pellets can be selected to match chemical composition, crystalline structure, mineral hardness, laser-surface response, and other properties. As a validation of this approach, fluoride distribution was measured in teeth from rats exposed to different levels of fluoride and compared to ion-selective electrode analysis. This method provides an opportunity to quantitatively map fluoride in human teeth and reconstruct the history of early-life fluoride exposure.

*** This presentation premiered during the 2023 Photonics Spectra Spectroscopy Conference. For more information on Photonics Media conferences, visit

About the presenter

Mauro MartinezMauro Martinez, Ph.D. graduated with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry at the Central University of Venezuela in 2006. During this time, he had his first contact with the spectroscopy field working with laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) on alloys. After this, he enrolled in a graduate cooperation program between France and Venezuela. Martinez earned a doctorate in analytical chemistry, environment and materials, from Pau University in 2014.

In 2019, he started his current position as a postdoc at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, but is now applying his analytical chemist background for environmental and epidemiology studies in the chemical mapping group in the Department of Environmental Medicine and Public Health. In this new challenge, Martinez is developing a project for fluoride quantification on teeth using molecular emission of calcium fluoride by LIBS and the correlation on human health.
spectroscopyBiophotonicsmedicineLIBSlaser induced breakdown spectroscopyteethImaging
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