Single-Cell Mass Spec

A nanoscopic needle and a mass spectrometer reveal the contents of individual cells.

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Ruth Williams

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Nov 30, 2015

© GEORGE RETSECK

To analyze the small-molecule components of an individual cell, a tiny capillary needle sucks material from the cytoplasm. After mixing the contents with an ionization solution, an applied voltage ejects the material from the needle and sends it into a mass spectrometer for analysis.

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