• Applications

Single Cell Analysis

Traditional methods for measuring uptake rates of metals in cells can be a time-consuming process with long instrument analysis and sample preparation time, often leading to qualitative or population-averaged results. The award-winning NexION® ICP-MS Single Cell Analysis System, with its proprietary Asperon Single Cell Spray Chamber, Single Cell Micro DX Autosampler, and the Syngistix Single Cell Software Module, offers a unique opportunity to quantitatively measure the metal content in individual cells, unveiling new capabilities to study intrinsic metals and the uptake of dissolved (ionic) and nanoparticulate metals into cells, therefore providing new insights into drug delivery, toxicity assessment, bioavailability, and bioaccumulation mechanisms.

Cancer Research

Metallic-based cancer therapy drugs have been in use for several years, the most widely used being platinum-based drugs. The therapeutic effect of cancer treatment is related to the amount of drug that interacts with each individual cancer cell. Traditional drug-research techniques have been limited to cell ensemble measurements, which require homogenization of a given cell population for quantitative analysis. Cell populations are heterogeneous, and differences exist even for cells from the same cell population and cell line.

Single Cell ICP-MS enables you to precisely quantify drug content in individual cells, resulting in a histogram of the population showing not only the most frequent and mean masses of drug in the population but also the distribution throughout the population. It is an invaluable tool to investigate cell resistance to drug therapy and better understand the mobilization/immobilization mechanisms.

See our wide range of solutions for cancer research

Pharmaceuticals/Drug Development

Metals and metal compounds have been used in medicine for several thousands of years. Some are essential for normal function as cofactors or prosthetics in enzymes, some are used in diagnosis as radioisotope imaging or as contrast agents for medical imaging, and others are used for therapeutic purposes. If your research revolves around metals and metal compounds development and use, and you are interested in better understanding the mechanism by which these drugs interact with your targeted cells, Single Cell ICP-MS enables you to precisely quantify the absorbed dose at the cellular level, revealing important mechanistic information.

Application Note: Quantification of Gold Nanoparticle Uptake into Cancer Cells using Single Cell ICP-MS

Application Note: New Research Evaluating Cisplatin Uptake in Ovarian Cancer Cells by Single Cell ICP-MS

Application Note: Iron Content Measurement in Individual Bacterial Cells Using SC-ICP-MS


Ecotoxicology is a multidisciplinary field which integrates toxicology and ecology – it is the study of the effects of toxic chemicals on biological organisms at the population, community, ecosystem, and biosphere levels. Many metals, organometallic compounds and, recently, nanomaterials are studied for their ecotoxicology using biological organisms at the population and community level, missing critical mechanistic information to the absorbed dose and route of exposure at the cellular level. Single Cell ICP-MS enables you to precisely quantify the absorbed dose at the cellular level, revealing important information on the diversity of the biological system. It also enables the quantification of the number of metallic particles up-taken by each individual cell, offering unprecedented information to the absorbed dose.

Application Note: Monitoring the Uptake of Nanoparticles and Ionic/Dissolved Gold by Fresh Water Algae using Single Cell ICP-MS

Webinar: Single Cell ICP-MS: A New Technique to Measure Nanoparticles and Metals in Individual Cells

Single Cell Analysis Featured Products

NexION 2000 B ICP Mass Spectrometer

Ideal for laboratories new to ICP Mass Spectrometry, the NexION 2000 B ICP- ...

Learn more

Syngistix for ICP-MS Single Cell Application Software Module

The Syngistix Single Cell Application Module, an extension of P ...

Learn more

Asperon Spray Chamber

The Asperon Spray Chamber, part of PerkinElmer's award-winning ...

Learn more

Single Cell Micro DX Autosampler Kit for NexION 1000/2000 ICP-MS

The Single Cell Micro DX Autosampler for the NexION 1000/2000 ICP-MS ena ...

Learn more

Single Cell Sample Introduction Kit for NexION 1000/2000 ICP-MS

The NexION ICP-MS Single Cell Analysis System offers a first-to-market c ...

Learn more