Correlating Super-Resolution Microscopy and Transmission Electron Microscopy Reveals Multiparametric Heterogeneity in Nanoparticles

Teodora Andrian, Pietro Delcanale, Silvia Pujals (Corresponding author), Lorenzo Albertazzi (Corresponding author)

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Abstract

The functionalization of nanoparticles with functional moieties is a key strategy to achieve cell targeting in nanomedicine. The interplay between size and ligand number is crucial for the formulation performance and needs to be properly characterized to understand nanoparticle structure-activity relations. However, there is a lack of methods able to measure both size and ligand number at the same time and at the single particle level. Here, we address this issue by introducing a correlative light and electron microscopy (CLEM) method combining super-resolution microscopy (SRM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) imaging. We apply our super-resCLEM method to characterize the relationship between size and ligand number and density in PLGA-PEG nanoparticles. We highlight how heterogeneity found in size can impact ligand distribution and how a significant part of the nanoparticle population goes completely undetected in the single-technique analysis. Super-resCLEM holds great promise for the multiparametric analysis of other parameters and nanomaterials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5360–5368
Number of pages9
JournalNano Letters
Volume21
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jun 2021

Keywords

  • correlative light and electron microscopy (CLEM)
  • electron microscopy (EM)
  • heterogeneity
  • nanomedicine
  • nanoparticles
  • super-resolution microscopy (SRM)
  • Nanoparticles
  • Microscopy, Electron, Transmission
  • Ligands
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence

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