Quantitative analysis of gold nanoparticles in single cells by laser ablation inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry

Meng Wang, Ling Na Zheng, Bing Wang, Han Qing Chen, Yu Liang Zhao, Zhi Fang Chai, Helen J. Reid, Barry L. Sharp, Wei Yue Feng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations

Abstract

Single cell analysis has become an important field of research in recent years reflecting the heterogeneity of cellular responses in biological systems. Here, we demonstrate a new method, based on laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICPMS), which can quantify in situ gold nanoparticles (Au NPs) in single cells. Dried residues of picoliter droplets ejected by a commercial inkjet printer were used to simulate matrix-matched calibration standards. The gold mass in single cells exposed to 100 nM NIST Au NPs (Reference material 8012, 30 nm) for 4 h showed a log-normal distribution, ranging from 1.7 to 72 fg Au per cell, which approximately corresponds to 9 to 370 Au NPs per cell. The average result from 70 single cells (15 ± 13 fg Au per cell) was in good agreement with the result from an aqua regia digest solution of 1.2 × 106 cells (18 ± 1 fg Au per cell). The limit of quantification was 1.7 fg Au. This paper demonstrates the great potential of LA-ICPMS for single cell analysis and the beneficial study of biological responses to metal drugs or NPs at the single cell level.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10252-10256
Number of pages5
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
Volume86
Issue number20
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 21 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry

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