Single particle ICP-MS method development for the determination of plant uptake and accumulation of CeO2 nanoparticles Academic Article uri icon


  • Cerium dioxide nanoparticles (CeO2NPs) are among the most broadly used engineered nanoparticles that will be increasingly released into the environment. Thus, understanding their uptake, transportation, and transformation in plants, especially food crops, is critical because it represents a potential pathway for human consumption. One of the primary challenges for the endeavor is the inadequacy of current analytical methodologies to characterize and quantify the nanomaterial in complex biological samples at environmentally relevant concentrations. Herein, a method was developed using single particle-inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (SP-ICP-MS) technology to simultaneously detect the size and size distribution of particulate Ce, particle concentration, and dissolved cerium in the shoots of four plant species including cucumber, tomato, soybean, and pumpkin. An enzymatic digestion method with Macerozyme R-10 enzyme previously used for gold nanoparticle extraction from¬†the tomato plant was adapted successfully for CeO2NP extraction from all four plant species. This study is the first to report and demonstrate the presence of dissolved cerium in plant seedling shoots exposed to CeO2NPs hydroponically. The extent of plant uptake and accumulation appears to be dependent on the plant species, requiring further systematic investigation of the mechanisms.

altmetric score

  • 1.6

author list (cited authors)

  • Dan, Y., Ma, X., Zhang, W., Liu, K., Stephan, C., & Shi, H.

citation count

  • 57

publication date

  • April 2016