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Single-Cell - Sample Introduction System


Single-cell analysis using an Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometer (SC-ICP-MS) is enhancing the fundamental understanding in cellular biology, oncology and drug discovery. SC-ICP-MS provides for the quantification of metals in individual biological cells and is used as a research tool to allow scientists to study disease aetiology, better understand diseased cell states and develop new drug treatments to give better patient outcomes.

In single-cell analysis, the sample introduction system converts a continuous stream of biological cells efficiently into an aerosol of individual cells and transfers the aerosol into the Inductively Coupled Plasma of the ICP-MS for analysis. A critical aspect of the sample introduction system is the cells must remain intact and unruptured during the nebulization process to ensure each individual cell produces a single ion burst inside the plasma that can be transferred into the mass analyser of the ICP-MS for quantification.

Conventional ICP-MS spray chambers have low transport efficiencies (typically < 5% TE) that filter out larger droplets ( > 5µm) from the nebulizer aerosol. As most cell lines of interest are larger than 5µm, the secondary filtering mechanism of conventional spray chamber designs rejects a high proportion of the cells from passing to the plasma. To overcome this significant deficiency the Glass Expansion spray chamber design for single cell analysis is different from conventional ICP-MS spray chambers.

Glass Expansion have developed a Single-Cell Sample Introduction System (SC-SIS) for SC-ICP-MS which consists of a:

  • - High efficiency, low uptake, concentric glass nebulizer designed to efficiently nebulize single-cell suspensions without compromising cell integrity

  • - Low volume, on-axis, laminar-flow spray chamber directly coupled to the ICP for the highest transport efficiency of the nebulized single-cell suspension

  • - Patent pending MicroJet gas adapter which entrains and shapes the aerosol plume to reduce cell deposition onto the spray chamber walls and increase sample transport efficiency

  • - An instrument specific mounting bracket to support and install the SC-SIS Kit, ensuring proper alignment of the laminar flow spray chamber

Introduction Single-Cell - Youtube

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