Recent trends in analysis of nanoparticles in biological matrices


The need to assess the human and environmental risks of nanoparticles (NPs) has prompted an adaptation of existing techniques and the development of new ones. Nanoparticle analysis poses a great challenge as the analytical information has to consider both physical (e.g. size and shape) and chemical (e.g. elemental composition) state of the analyte. Furthermore, one has to contemplate the transformation of NPs during the sample preparation and provide sufficient information about the new species derived from such alteration. Traditional techniques commonly used for NP analysis such as microscopy and light scattering are still frequently used for NPs in simple matrices; however, they have limitations in the analysis of complex environmental and biological samples. On the other hand, recent improvements in data acquisition frequencies and reduction of settling time of ICP-MS brought inorganic mass spectrometry into the forefront of NPs analysis. However, with the increasing demand of analytical information related to NPs, emerging techniques such as enhanced darkfield hyperspectral imaging, nano-SIMS and mass cytometry are in their way to fill the gaps. This trend review presents and discusses the state-of-the-art analytical techniques and sample preparation methods for NP analysis in biological matrices.

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Published in the topical collection Young Investigators in (Bio-)Analytical Chemistry with guest editors Erin Baker, Kerstin Leopold, Francesco Ricci, and Wei Wang.

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Gajdosechova, Z., Mester, Z. Recent trends in analysis of nanoparticles in biological matrices. Anal Bioanal Chem 411, 4277–4292 (2019).

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  • Nanoparticle analysis
  • Nano-SIMS
  • Cy-TOF
  • Biological tissue
  • Single-particle ICP-MS