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Mass Imaging of Iron Oxide Nanoparticles Inside Cells for In Vitro Cytotoxicity

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Time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (ToF-SIMS) imaging analysis was performed on murine macrophage cells treated with various concentrations of iron oxide (Fe3O4) nanoparticles, which are used as MRI contrast agents. First, murine macrophage cells were seeded on a slide glass for 24 hrs and treated with varying concentrations of Fe3O4 nanoparticles for 24 hrs. To expose a cross section of each cell and obtain a distribution of the nanoparticles inside the cells, the cells were sputtered using Bi ions after which the cross section of each cell was scanned and imaged using the focused cluster ion beam with a spatial resolution of 300 nm. Fe3O4 nanoparticles were found mainly in the cytoplasm region of the cells, not in the nucleus region of cells, suggesting that the uptake of the Fe3O4 nanoparticles were into the cytoplasm of cell, not into the nucleus of cell. Based on these observations, our protocol using mass imaging analysis would be a useful addition to the study of in vitro nanoparticle cytotoxicity.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2011

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  • Journal for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (JNN) is an international and multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidating research activities in all areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology into a single and unique reference source. JNN is the first cross-disciplinary journal to publish original full research articles, rapid communications of important new scientific and technological findings, timely state-of-the-art reviews with author's photo and short biography, and current research news encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine.
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