Determination of quantum dots in single cells by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry

Ling Na Zheng, Meng Wang, Bing Wang, Han Qing Chen, Ouyang Hong, Yu Liang Zhao, Zhi Fang Chai, Wei Yue Feng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


In order to assess cytotoxicity of quantum dots (QDs), new reliable analytical techniques that can provide comparative information at a single-cell level are required. In this study, a single cell ICP-MS (SC-ICP-MS) method was established to determine intracellular QDs in single cells after exposure. Uptake kinetics of QDs into cells was studied using the established method. The results were compared and validated by flow cytometry and cell digestion methods. In contrast to other methods, SC-ICP-MS can directly detect QDs and their degradation products via elements, and thus is a promising complement to available methods for single cell analysis and is expected to be a critical tool in the future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)782-787
Number of pages6
StatePublished - 2013


  • ICP-MS
  • Nanotoxicity
  • Quantum dots
  • Single cell analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)


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