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Quantification of silver nanoparticles up-taken by single cells using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry in the single cell measurement mode

Abstract

The impact of nanoparticles, NPs, at single cell level has become a major field of toxicological research and different analytical methodologies are being investigated to obtain biological and toxicological information to better understand the mechanisms of cell-NPs interactions. Here, inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry in the single cell measurement mode (SC-ICP-MS) is proposed to study the uptake of silver NPs, AgNPs, with a diameter of 50 nm by human THP-1 monocytes in a proof of principle experiment. The main operational parameters of SC-ICP-MS have been optimized and applied for subsequent quantitative analysis of AgNPs to determine the number of particles in individuals cells using AgNPs suspensions for calibration. THP-1 cells were incubated with AgNPs suspensions with concentrations of 0.1 and 1 µg mL-1 for 4 and 24 hours. The results reveal that the AgNPs uptake by THP-1 monocytes is minimal at the lower dose of 0.1 µg mL-1 (roughly 1 AgNPs per cell were determined), whereas a large cell-to-cell variance dependent on the exposure time is observed for a 10 times higher concentration (roughly 7 AgNPs per cell). The method was further applied to monitor the AgNPs uptake by THP-1 differentiated macrophages incubated at same AgNPs concentration levels and exposure times demonstrating a much higher AgNPs uptake (roughly from 9 to 45 AgNPs per cell) that was dependent on exposure concentration and kept constant over time. Results have been compared and validated by sample digestion followed by ICP-MS analysis as well as with other alternative promising techniques providing single cell analysis.

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Supplementary files

Publication details

The article was received on 28 Nov 2017, accepted on 18 May 2018 and first published on 18 May 2018


Article type: Technical Note
DOI: 10.1039/C7JA00395A
Citation: J. Anal. At. Spectrom., 2018, Accepted Manuscript
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    Quantification of silver nanoparticles up-taken by single cells using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry in the single cell measurement mode

    A. López-Serrano, S. Baumgart, W. Bremser, S. Flemig, D. Wittke, A. Gruetzkau, A. Luch, A. Haase and N. Jakubowski, J. Anal. At. Spectrom., 2018, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C7JA00395A

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