Several previous studies have shown that when a cell that has taken up nanoparticles divides, the nanoparticles are inherited by the two daughter cells in an asymmetrical fashion, with one daughter cell receiving more nanoparticles than the other. This interesting observation is typically demonstrated either indirectly using mathematical modelling of high-throughput experimental data or more directly by imaging individual cells as they divide. Here we suggest that measurements of the coefficient of variation (standard deviation over mean) of the number of nanoparticles per cell over the cell population is another means of assessing the degree of asymmetry. Using simulations of an evolving cell population, we show that the coefficient of variation is sensitive to the degree of asymmetry and note its characteristic evolution in time. As the coefficient of variation is readily measurable using high-throughput techniques, this should allow a more rapid experimental assessment of the degree of asymmetry.
- STOCHASTIC GENE-EXPRESSION
- QUANTUM DOTS