C60-SIMS imaging of nanoparticles within mammalian cells

Anna N. Bloom, Hua Tian, Nicholas Winograd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


To achieve successful drug delivery via nanoparticles the interactions between the nanoparticle and the chemistry of the surrounding biological environment is of central importance. A thorough understanding of these interactions is necessary in order to better elucidate information regarding drug pathways and mechanisms of action in treatment protocols. As such, it is important to identify the location of the nanoparticle, the state of its functionalization, as well as any changes in the cellular environment. The use of cluster secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) using C60+ primary ions makes simultaneous acquisition of this information possible. Here, SIMS has been successfully used to chemically image gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) within a model, single cell system involving macrophage-like RAW 264.7 cells. The macrophage-like properties of this cell line make it extremely well-suited for cell-uptake studies. Both AuNPs and two pharmaceutical compounds, amiodarone and elacridar, were successfully imaged within a cellular system using cluster SIMS. To verify that SIMS can also be used to detect functionalization and nanoparticles simultaneously, fluorophore-functionalized AuNPs were studied as a model system. The fluorescent characteristics of these functionalized nanoparticles enabled the visual confirmation of the presence and location of the particles within the cell.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • Biomaterials
  • General Materials Science
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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