Ph.D. projects

Spectroscopic investigations to the complexation of trivalent actinides/lanthanides in body fluids of the human gastrointestinal tract

Claudia Wilke
Prof. Dr. Thorsten Stumpf (HZDR), Dr. Astrid Barkleit (HZDR)
Chemistry of the f-elements

The lanthanide and actinide elements are exogenous metals, which have no essential role in normal biochemistry. Through different processes these heavy metals can be potentially released into the environment where they can be incorporated into the food chain. Because of the chemical toxicity and the radioactivity of the actinide elements, it is important to investigate their chemical and biological behaviour in the human body. Presently, there are no studies about the chemical speciation of the actinide/lanthanide elements after oral ingestion.

The aim of this work is the characterization and determination of trivalent actinide/lanthanide complexes in the human gastrointestinal tract. The investigations are realized in vitro with synthetic body fluids (salivary, gastric, intestinal and bile juice) and selected lanthanides/actinides. A representative of the lanthanide elements is Eu3+, which is also an analogue for the radioactive actinide Cm3+, that is also used.
Spectroscopic methods, that are used for the characterization of these complexes are TRLFS, ATR FT-IR, NMR and EXAFS.

(Part of the research project TransAqua)