Mass Cytometry for Detection of Silver at the Bacterial Single Cell Level
Guo, Y., Baumgart, S., Stärk, H.J. et al.
Mass cytometry (Cytometry by Time of Flight, CyTOF) allows single-cell characterization on the basis of specific metal-based cell markers. In addition, other metals in the mass range such as silver can be detected per cell. Bacteria are known to be sensible to silver and a protocol was developed to measure both the number of affected cells per population and the quantities of silver per cell.
For mass cytometry ruthenium red was used as a marker for all cells of a population while parallel application of cisplatin discriminated live from dead cells. Silver quantities per cell and frequencies of silver containing cells in a population were measured by mass cytometry. In addition, live/dead subpopulations were analyzed by flow cytometry and distinguished by cell sorting based on ruthenium red and propidium iodide double staining. Verification of the cells’ silver load was performed on the bulk level by using ICP-MS in combination with cell sorting. The protocol was developed by conveying both, fast and non-growing Pseudomonas putida cells as test organisms.
A workflow for labeling bacteria in order to be analyzed by mass cytometry was developed. Three different parameters were tested: ruthenium red provided counts for all bacterial cells in a population while consecutively applied cisplatin marked the frequency of dead cells. Apparent population heterogeneity was detected by different frequencies of silver containing cells. Silver quantities per cell were also well measurable. Generally, AgNP-10 treatment caused higher frequencies of dead cells, higher frequencies of silver containing cells and higher per-cell silver quantities. Due to an assumed chemical equilibrium of free and bound silver ions live and dead cells were associated with silver in equal quantities and this preferably during exponential growth. With ICP-MS up to 1.5 fg silver per bacterial cell were detected.
An effective mass cytometry protocol was developed for the detection and quantification of silver in single bacterial cells of different physiological states. The silver quantities were generally heterogeneously distributed among cells in a population, the degree of which was dependent on micro-environmental conditions and on silver applied either in ion or nanoparticle-aggregated form.
Guo, Y., Baumgart, S., Stärk, H.J. et al. "Mass Cytometry for Detection of Silver at the Bacterial Single Cell Level" Frontiers in Microbiology (2017): 1,326