Nano Letters, 2008, 8(9), 2659-2663

Carbon nanotubes in macrophages: Imaging and chemical analysis by X-ray fluorescence microscopy

Cyrill Bussy, Julien Cambedouzou, Sophie Lanone, Emilie Leccia, Vasile Heresanu, Mathieu Pinault, Martine Mayne-l’Hermite, Nathalie Brun, Claudie Mory, Marine Cotte, Jean Doucet, Jorge Boczkowski and Pascale Launois

X-ray fluorescence microscopy (μXRF) is applied for the first time to study macrophages exposed to unpurified and purified single-walled (SW) and multiwalled (MW) carbon nanotubes (CNT). Investigating chemical elemental distributions allows one to (i) image nanotube localization within a cell and (ii) detect chemical modification of the cell after CNT internalization. An excess of calcium is detected for cells exposed to unpurified SWCNT and MWCNT and related toxicological assays are discussed.