A fundamental perspective can be achieved by targeting single cells for analysis with the goal of deconvoluting complex biological functions. However, single-cell studies have their own difficulties, such as minute volumes and sample amounts. Quantitative chemical analysis of single cells has emerged as a powerful new area in recent years due to several technological advancements. The development of microelectrodes has allowed the measurement of redox-active species as a function of cellular dynamics. This miniaturization trend is also evident in the separation sciences with the application of small column separations to single cells. Desorption ionization methods with mass spectrometric detection have shown single-cell capability owing to numerous technological developments. Finally, fluorescence imaging has also progressed to the point where single-cell dynamics can be probed by native fluorescence utilizing either single or multiple photon excitation. The results of these studies are reviewed with an emphasis on the quantitation of single-cell dynamics.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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