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Issue 3, 2010
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Metal-containing polystyrene beads as standards for mass cytometry

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We examine the suitability of metal-containing polystyrene beads for the calibration of a mass cytometer instrument, a single particle analyser based on an inductively coupled plasma ion source and a time of flight mass spectrometer. These metal-containing beads are also verified for their use as internal standards for this instrument. These beads were synthesized by multiple-stage dispersion polymerization with acrylic acid as a comonomer. Acrylic acid acts as a ligand to anchor the metal ions within the interior of the beads. Mass cytometry enabled the bead-by-bead measurement of the metal-content and determination of the metal-content distribution. Beads synthesized by dispersion polymerization that involved three stages were shown to have narrower bead-to-bead variation in their lanthanide content than beads synthesized by 2-stage dispersion polymerization. The beads exhibited insignificant release of their lanthanide content to aqueous solutions of different pHs over a period of six months. When mixed with KG1a or U937 cell lines, metal-containing polymer beads were shown not to affect the mass cytometry response to the metal content of element-tagged antibodies specifically attached to these cells.

Graphical abstract: Metal-containing polystyrene beads as standards for mass cytometry

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Supplementary files

Article information

20 Oct 2009
15 Dec 2009
First published
06 Jan 2010

J. Anal. At. Spectrom., 2010,25, 260-268
Article type

Metal-containing polystyrene beads as standards for mass cytometry

A. I. Abdelrahman, O. Ornatsky, D. Bandura, V. Baranov, R. Kinach, S. Dai, S. C. Thickett, S. Tanner and M. A. Winnik, J. Anal. At. Spectrom., 2010, 25, 260
DOI: 10.1039/B921770C

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