Single-cell analysis by use of ICP-MS
This tutorial review article is highlighting the fundamentals, instrumentation, and most recent trends of single-cell analysis by use of inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). It is shown that metals and hetero-elements being intrinsically present in cells, taken up by cells (for instance engineered metallic nanoparticles) or binding to a cell can be detected qualitatively by existing ICP-MS technologies on a single cell level. Adding a quantitative dimension to single-cell analysis by (laser ablation-) ICP-MS requires dedicated calibration and validation strategies, which are currently being established and are being critically discussed. In a tutorial part, the ICP-MS instruments, the measurement conditions, and the sample introduction and preparation techniques are introduced. The application section focuses on the state-of-the-art of single-cell analysis in suspension, using laser ablation or (imaging) mass cytometry. Finally, future trends are critically assessed.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Community Leaders: Gary Hieftje