The use of micro- or nanometric particles is in full expansion for the development of new technologies. These particles may exhibit variable toxicity levels depending on their physicochemical characteristics. We focused our attention on macrophages (MA), the main target cells of the respiratory system responsible for the phagocytosis of the particles. The quantification of the amount of phagocytosed particles seems to be a major element for a better knowledge of toxicity mechanisms. The aim of this study was to develop a quantitative evaluation of uptake using both flow cytometry (FCM) and confocal microscopy to distinguish entirely engulfed fluorescent microsized particles from those just adherent to the cell membrane and to compare these data to in vitro toxicity assessments.
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