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J Biomed Nanotechnol. 2016 May;12(5):1001-10.

LA-ICP-MS Allows Quantitative Microscopy of Europium-Doped Iron Oxide Nanoparticles and is a Possible Alternative to Ambiguous Prussian Blue Iron Staining.

Abstract

The development of iron oxide nanoparticles for biomedical applications requires accurate histological evaluation. Prussian blue iron staining is widely used but may be unspecific when tissues contain substantial endogenous iron. Here we tested whether microscopy by laser ablation coupled to inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) is sensitive enough to analyze accumulation of very small iron oxide particles (VSOP) doped with europium in tissue sections. For synthesis of VSOP, a fraction of Fe3+ (5 wt%) was replaced by Eu3+, resulting in particles with 0.66 mol% europium relative to iron (Eu-VSOP) but with otherwise similar properties as VSOP. Eu-VSOP or VSOP was intravenously injected into ApoE-/- mice on Western cholesterol diet and accumulated in atherosclerotic plaques of these animals. Prussian blue staining was positive for ApoE-/- mice with particle injection but also for controls. LA-ICP-MS microscopy resulted in sensitive and specific detection of the europium of Eu-VSOP in liver and atherosclerotic plaques. Furthermore, calibration with Eu-VSOP allowed calculation of iron and particle concentrations in tissue sections. The combination of europium-doped iron oxide particles and LA-ICP-MS microscopy provides a new tool for specific and quantitative analysis of particle distribution at the tissue level and allows correlation with other elements such as endogenous iron.

PMID:
27305821
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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