The metabolism of anti-breast cancer drug, tamoxifen, in a single human hepatocellular carcinoma cell, HepG2, was directly monitored by a video-mass spectroscope. The cytoplasm, a vacuole or nucleus of the cell was directly sucked by a nano-spray tip under a video-microscope, and then was introduced into a mass spectrometer. Unchanged drug molecules were found in cytoplasm and a vacuole, but the metabolites were only found in the cytoplasm. This direct detection of drug metabolites in a live single cell is useful for speedy drug metabolism monitoring.
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