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 journalArticle

53 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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