Journal article

High-throughput quantitation of inorganic nanoparticle biodistribution at the single-cell level using mass cytometry

Inorganic nanoparticles (NPs) are studied as drug carriers, radiosensitizers and imaging agents, and characterizing nanoparticle biodistribution is essential for evaluating their efficacy and safety. Tracking NPs at the single-cell level with current technologies is complicated by the lack of reliable methods to stably label particles over extended durations in vivo. Here we demonstrate that mass cytometry by time-of-flight provides a label-free approach for inorganic nanoparticle quantitation in cells. Furthermore, mass cytometry can enumerate AuNPs with a lower detection limit of B10 AuNPs (3 nm core size) in a single cell with tandem multiparameter cellular phenotyping. Using the cellular distribution insights, we selected an amphiphilic surface ligand-coated AuNP that targeted myeloid dendritic cells in lymph nodes as a peptide antigen carrier, substantially increasing the efficacy of a model vaccine in a B16-OVA melanoma mouse model. This technology provides a powerful new level of insight into nanoparticle fate in vivo.

Related material