Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Avi Thomas adjusts the bioAMS instrument
Historically, no matter what form a biological sample started out in, it had to be converted to graphite before being analyzed in an accelerator. The traditional AMS technology required operation by experts in disciplines far removed from medical fields, unforgiving special chemistries to prepare samples for analysis and extensive time required for that sample preparation - all factors that have impacted its utility for clinical researchers.

However, in recent years, Lab investments have allowed researchers to develop an interface that would handle liquid samples and bypass the graphitization process. The new bioAMS instrument will couple with this transformational technological development to rapidly and cheaply perform biomedical human subject tracer studies and body burden assessment addressing important questions in nutrition, toxicology, pharmacology, drug development and comparative medicine.

The instrument also will support LLNL's biological detection and medical countermeasures programs. Examples of applications include dating of cancer stem cells, developing individualized patient therapies and rapid testing of new therapeutics against infectious agents.