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Issue 9, 2020
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Single-cell analysis by use of ICP-MS

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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.

Graphical abstract: Single-cell analysis by use of ICP-MS

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Article information

27 Apr 2020
17 Aug 2020
First published
24 Aug 2020

J. Anal. At. Spectrom., 2020,35, 1784-1813
Article type
Tutorial Review

Single-cell analysis by use of ICP-MS

S. Theiner, K. Loehr, G. Koellensperger, L. Mueller and N. Jakubowski, J. Anal. At. Spectrom., 2020, 35, 1784
DOI: 10.1039/D0JA00194E

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