Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry

, Volume 406, Issue 27, pp 6963–6977 | Cite as

Trends in single-cell analysis by use of ICP-MS

  • Larissa Mueller
  • Heike Traub
  • Norbert Jakubowski
  • Daniela Drescher
  • Vladimir I. Baranov
  • Janina Kneipp
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Single Cell Analysis


The analysis of single cells is a growing research field in many disciplines such as toxicology, medical diagnosis, drug and cancer research or metallomics, and different methods based on microscopic, mass spectrometric, and spectroscopic techniques are under investigation. This review focuses on the most recent trends in which inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) and ICP optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES) are applied for single-cell analysis using metal atoms being intrinsically present in cells, taken up by cells (e.g., nanoparticles), or which are artificially bound to a cell. For the latter, especially element tagged antibodies are of high interest and are discussed in the review. The application of different sample introduction systems for liquid analysis (pneumatic nebulization, droplet generation) and elemental imaging by laser ablation ICP-MS (LA-ICP-MS) of single cells are highlighted. Because of the high complexity of biological systems and for a better understanding of processes and dynamics of biologically or medically relevant cells, the authors discuss the idea of “multimodal spectroscopies.”


Bioanalytical methods Cell systems/single cell analysis Mass spectrometry/ICP-MS 



The work of Larissa Müller was funded by the German Research Council (DFG), grant WA 3459/1-1.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Larissa Mueller
    • 1
  • Heike Traub
    • 1
  • Norbert Jakubowski
    • 1
  • Daniela Drescher
    • 1
    • 2
  • Vladimir I. Baranov
    • 3
  • Janina Kneipp
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.BAM Federal Institute for Materials Research and TestingBerlinGermany
  2. 2.Department of ChemistryHumboldt-Universität zu BerlinBerlinGermany
  3. 3.DVS Sciences Inc.MarkhamCanada

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