Tracking Bismuth Antiulcer Drug Uptake in Single Helicobacter pylori Cells

Cheuk Nam Tsang, Koon Sing Ho, Hongzhe Sun*, Wing Tat Chan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

101 Citations (Scopus)


Bismuth-based drugs have long been used for the treatment of Helicobacter pylori infection. In this work, the metal content in H. pylori was monitored at the single-cell level by time-resolved inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry, and ∼2.9 × 107 Mg atoms/cell was determined for the wild-type. Bacteria treated with a Bi antiulcer drug deposited nearly 1.0 × 106 Bi atoms/cell, whereas the uptake process took ∼3 h to reach the half-maximum. Interference of ferric ions on bismuth uptake was demonstrated, suggesting that the metallodrug can utilize certain iron-transport pathways in the pathogen. The approach provides a general strategy for monitoring metals in single cells, facilitating exploration of metal-relevant bioprocesses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7355-7357
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number19
Early online date25 Apr 2011
Publication statusPublished - 18 May 2011

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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