Why is icpTOF an Ideal Tool for Ecotoxicological Testing

Why is icpTOF an Ideal Tool for Ecotoxicological Testing

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The icpTOF is capable of detecting every different element in an individual cell, making it an ideal tool in the study of cell ionome and its response to toxic substances.

Diatoms are highly sensitive to changes in their environment. This sensitivity means that they are widely employed in ecotoxicological testing, serving as key indicators of climatic changes metal pollution.

The majority of ecotoxicological data is collected solely based on the algae’s photosystem, meaning that the use of an alternative analytical method is likely to be highly beneficial in improving data compatibility.

The paper by Von Der Au et al1 outlines the study of single cells’ ionome (elemental composition) as a means of improving the compatibility of results, thereby enabling improved comprehension of toxicity mechanisms.

P, Mg, Fe, and Si are helpful fingerprint elements in algae, and these elements can be applied to help track individual cells and the cells’ response to Zn toxicity.

The paper’s authors illustrate how single cell analysis employing the icpTOF in conjunction with multivariate data treatment results in a highly promising means of cell classification.

The results of this work may also be useful in further studies aiming to improve understanding of combined toxicity effects from various substances.


  1. Von Der Au, M., Borovinskaya, O., Flamigni, L., Kuhlmeier, K., Büchel, C. and Meermann, B. (2020) ‘Single cell-inductively coupled plasma-time of flight-mass spectrometry approach for ecotoxicological testing,’ Algal Research. Algal Research, p. 101964. doi: 10.1016/j.algal.2020.101964.


TOFWERK is a global leader in time-of-flight mass spectrometry, delivering sensitive instruments for laboratory, industrial, and field analyses. Our customers’ interests range from materials science and geochemistry to metabolomics and trace-gas measurements.

TOFWERK engineers and scientists collaborate with research laboratories and OEM customers to develop custom MS solutions based on our modular design platform. This platform enables rapid design and manufacturing of novel instrumentation for research laboratories and OEM customers.

Our end-user product line includes the icpTOF, Vocus PTR-TOF, IMS-TOF, and EI-TOF for GC. These mass spectrometers bring the speed and sensitivity of TOFMS to many disciplines and sample types.

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Last updated: Dec 4, 2020 at 4:40 AM


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