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Talanta. 2013 Nov 15;116:782-7. doi: 10.1016/j.talanta.2013.07.075. Epub 2013 Aug 7.

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

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Key Laboratory of Nuclear Analytical Techniques and Key Laboratory for Biomedical Effects of Nanomaterials and Nanosafety, Institute of High Energy Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China.


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.


ICP–MS; Nanotoxicity; Quantum dots; Single cell analysis

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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