Inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry in biodistribution studies of (engineered) nanoparticles



The biodistribution of engineered inorganic nanomaterials with size characteristics of one, two, or three dimensions smaller than 100 nm is a fast‐growing analytical and toxicological research field. This review gives a detailed overview about biodistribution studies with gold (Au), silver (Ag), and Titanium Dioxide (TiO2) nanoparticles (NPs).

Exposure to NPs is possible via inhalation, injection, ingestion, and skin contact. The distribution of NPs in the body is affected by their chemical/elemental composition, size and size distribution, shape, coatings, surface properties, and their stability under the selected circumstances.

The evaluation of the presence of NPs to determine their tissue distribution is not easy. NP presence can be identified by electron microscopy (EM) but this is a time‐ and labor‐consuming technique. So, instead of determining the presence of the NPs themselves, distribution studies can use elemental analysis by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICPMS) as indication for the tissue distribution of NPs. In the field of analytical research, the suitable application of ICPMS is crucial and discussed in detail. Other relevant analytical techniques, the obtained results as well as the evaluations, are presented too.

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