Methanol-Based Extraction Protocol for Insoluble and Moderately Water-Soluble Nanoparticles in Plants to Enable Characterization by Single Particle ICP-MS
Nano-enabled agrichemicals that utilize metal nanoparticles have been shown to be highly efficient fertilizers and pesticides. However, such agrichemicals also have the potential to release nanoparticles into the environment and onto crops for human consumption. Therefore, a clear understanding of the fate of these nanoparticles is essential for risk assessment and regulation of nano-enabled agrichemicals.
The detection and characterization of metal nanoparticles in plant tissues is an analytical challenge. In this study, Stephanie Laughton and co-workers use TOFWERK’s icpTOF for single particle ICP-MS to determine and quantify different metal nanoparticles (i.e., Au, CuO, and ZnO) in different plant leaf materials (i.e., lettuce, corn, and kale). Two extraction methods for the preparation of plant samples were compared: a standard enzyme-based extraction and a newly developed methanol-based approach. The latter method was found to be superior and is deemed suitable for studying the behavior of nano-enabled agrichemicals in plants with sp-ICP-MS.