Single-Particle Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry for Characterization of Engineered Nanoparticles

  • Suresh Kaushik
  • Setyowati Retno Djiwanti
  • Efstathia Skotti
Part of the Nanotechnology in the Life Sciences book series (NALIS)


With the rapid development of nanotechnology, consumer products containing metallic engineered nanoparticles (ENPs) are commonly available in the market. These particles subsequently are released into the environment, and uptake of these materials by human is very likely. Methods for detecting, quantifying, and characterizing these materials in complex matrices are critical for the eventual understanding of their implications to human health and environment. To assess their effect on the body, reliable and fast detection of these nanoparticles in very low amount becomes increasingly important. The increasing demand of inorganic nanoparticles requires more analytical information using the adoption of existing techniques and methods or the development of new ones. So there is challenge for the analytical sciences to characterize nanoparticles involving both physical, such as size, shape, and aggregation, and chemical information, such as mass or number concentration and composition. Reliable analytical methods to obtain information related to characteristics of engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) are urgently needed, but currently no single analytical methods are able to detect, quantify, and characterize ENPs in complex systems. A well-established technique of inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) has been around for several decades for elemental analysis, but it is not capable of providing any information about the physicochemical form of the element (e.g., present as dissolved species or as particulate) or any other information pertaining to the ENPs (e.g., shape, size, aggregation, etc.). Recently, single-particle ICP-MS has emerged (spICP-MS) as a useful tool for characterization of metal-containing nanoparticles. This technique is reliable and fast for counting and sizing particles at lowest concentrations while simultaneously distinguishing between dissolved and particulate analytes. Additional information about the soluble species or the nanoparticles can be obtained, if spICP-MS is coupled with a previous separation step. In this chapter, development of single-particle ICP-MS technique hyphenated with nanoparticles size separation methods from niche techniques to application for routine analysis will be reviewed.


Nanotechnology Characterization Engineered nanoparticle spICP-MS 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Suresh Kaushik
    • 1
  • Setyowati Retno Djiwanti
    • 2
  • Efstathia Skotti
    • 3
  1. 1.Division of Soil Science and Agricultural ChemistryIndian Agricultural Research InstituteNew DelhiIndia
  2. 2.Plant Protection DivisionIndonesian Spice and Medicinal Crop Research Institute (ISMECRI)BogorIndonesia
  3. 3.Department of Food Science and TechnologyIonian UniversityArgostoli KefalloniaGreece

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