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Anal Chem. 2012 Nov 20;84(22):9684-8. doi: 10.1021/ac302639c. Epub 2012 Nov 8.

Quantitative imaging of gold and silver nanoparticles in single eukaryotic cells by laser ablation ICP-MS.


Laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) was utilized for spatially resolved bioimaging of the distribution of silver and gold nanoparticles in individual fibroblast cells upon different incubation experiments. High spatial resolution was achieved by optimization of scan speed, ablation frequency, and laser energy. Nanoparticles are visualized with respect to cellular substructures and are found to accumulate in the perinuclear region with increasing incubation time. On the basis of matrix-matched calibration, we developed a method for quantification of the number of metal nanoparticles at the single-cell level. The results provide insight into nanoparticle/cell interactions and have implications for the development of analytical methods in tissue diagnostics and therapeutics.

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