Monitoring AuNP Dynamics in the Blood of a Single Mouse Using Single Particle Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry with an Ultralow-Volume High-Efficiency Introduction System
Yuzhen Sun, Nian Liu, Yuanyuan Wang, Yongguang Yin, Guangbo Qu, Jianbo Shi, Maoyong Song, Ligang Hu, Bin He, Guangliang Liu, Yong Cai, Yong Liang, Guibin Jiang
Gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) are increasingly being used as diagnostic and therapeutic agents owing to their excellent properties; however, there is not much data available on their dynamics in vivo on a single particle basis in a single mouse. Here, we developed a method for the direct analysis of nanoparticles in trace blood samples based on single particle inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (spICP-MS). A flexible, highly configurable, and precisely controlled sample introduction system was designed by assembling an ultralow-volume autosampler (flow rate in the range of 5–5000 μL/min) and a customized cyclonic spray chamber (transfer efficiency up to 99%). Upon systematic optimization, the detection limit of the nanoparticle size (LODsize) of AuNPs in ultrapure water was 19 nm, and the detection limit of the nanoparticle number concentration (LODNP) was 8 × 104 particle/L. Using a retro-orbital blood sampling method and subsequent dilution, the system was successfully applied to track the dynamic changes in size and concentration for AuNPs in the blood of a single mouse, and the recovery for the blood sample was 111.74%. Furthermore, the concentration of AuNPs in mouse blood reached a peak in a short period of time and, then, gradually decreased. This study provides a promising technique for analyzing and monitoring the size and concentration of nanoparticles in ultralow-volume blood samples with low concentrations, making it a powerful tool for analyzing and understanding the fate of nanoparticles in vivo.