Date of Award

Summer 1983

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Chemistry & Biochemistry



Committee Director

Patricia A. Pleban

Committee Member

John D. Van Norman

Committee Member

Billy T. Upchurch

Committee Member

Blair Chrenka

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.C45L43


The purpose of this research project was to develop assay procedures for determination of zinc in erythrocytes. Three methodologies were developed. The methods were evaluated on the basis of within-run and between-run precision. The most reproducible method, the 213.856 nm flame methodology, was used to determine red blood cell zinc concentrations in more than 200 samples obtained from the Neonatal Intensive care Unit at the Children's Hospital of the King's Daughters.

This study demonstrated that erythrocyte zinc levels in premature infants were similar to those of healthy adults. A linear relation between plasma and red blood cell zinc concentrations was investigated. None was found. Gestational age was correlated with both plasma and erythrocyte zinc levels. While a slight relationship was shown for red blood cells, no conclusion could be drawn as to the relationship between plasma zinc concentrations and gestational age. Neither the erythrocyte nor the plasma zinc levels for the groups could be correlated to zinc supplementation. This finding was in agreement with findings of other researchers.


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