In Situ Identification of Nanoparticle Structural Information Using Optical Microscopy.
ABSTRACT: Diffraction-limited optical microscopy lacks the resolution to directly characterize nanoscale features of single nanoparticles. This paper describes how structural features of gold nanostars can be identified using differential interference contrast (DIC) microscopy. First, we established structure-property relationships between categories of nanoparticle shapes and DIC optical images and then validated the correlation with electrodynamic simulations and electron microscopy. We found that DIC image patterns of single nanostars could be differentiated between 2D and 3D geometries. DIC images were also used to distinguish asymmetric and 4-fold symmetric structures and track nanoparticle orientation. Finally, we demonstrated how this wide-field optical technique can be used for in situ characterization of single nanoparticles rotating at a glass-water interface.
Project description:Gold nanorods are promising nanoparticle-orientation sensors because they exhibit wavelength and angle-dependent optical patterns in their differential interference contrast (DIC) microscopy images. In this paper, we report a finite-difference time-domain method to simulate DIC images using nanorods as model probes. First, we created a DIC image library of nanorods as a function of imaging wavelength and rotation angle that showed good agreement with experimental results. Second, we used this simulation tool to explain why the patterns inverted from bright to dark when the imaging wavelength increased from below to above the plasmon resonance of the nanorod. We found that this intensity inversion resulted from reversal in electric field direction depending on wavelength relative to the nanorod plasmon resonance. Finally, we showed that this DIC contrast inversion is a general phenomenon by measuring and simulating DIC images from gold nanorods of different sizes and gold nanostars.
Project description:Plasmon-resonant nanoparticles with optical scattering in the near-infrared (NIR) are valuable contrast agents for biophotonic imaging and may be detected at the single-particle limit against a dark background, but their contrast is often limited in environments with high noise. Here we consider gyromagnetic imaging as a dynamic mode of optical contrast, using gold nanostars with superparamagnetic cores. The nanostars exhibit polarization-sensitive NIR scattering and can produce a frequency-modulated signal in response to a rotating magnetic field gradient. This periodic "twinkling" can be converted into Fourier-domain images with a dramatic reduction in background. We demonstrate gyromagnetic imaging of nanostars inside of tumor cells, using broadband excitation: while their time-domain signals are obscured by incoherent scattering, their Fourier-domain signals can be clearly resolved in less than a second. The gyromagnetically active nanostars do not cause a loss in viability, and can even have a mild stimulatory effect on cell growth.
Project description:We used molecular-specific gold nanoparticles to monitor epidermal growth factor receptors (EGFR) in live A431 cells over time. Dark-field hyperspectral imaging, electron microscopy, and electrodynamic modeling were used to correlate optical properties of EGFR-bound plasmonic nanoparticles with receptor regulation state. We showed that receptor trafficking resulted in a progressive red shift of greater than 100 nm in the nanoparticle plasmon resonance wavelength over a time period of 60 min. Furthermore, we demonstrated that changes in peak scattering wavelengths of gold nanoparticles from 546 +/- 15 to 574 +/- 20, and to 597 +/- 44 nm are associated with EGFR trafficking from the cell membrane, to early endosomes, and to late endosomes/multivesicular bodies, respectively. Finally, we used the changes in scattering spectra of EGFR-bound nanoparticles and a straightforward statistical analysis of RGB-channel color images of labeled cells to create near real-time maps of EGFR regulatory states in living cells.
Project description:Low selectivity of chemotherapy correlates with poor outcomes of cancer patients. To improve this issue, a novel agent, N-(1-[3-methoxycarbonyl-4-hydroxyphenyl]-β-carboline-3-carbonyl)-Trp-Lys-OBzl (PZL318), was reported here. The transmission electron microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, and atomic force microscopy images demonstrated that PZL318 can form nanoparticles. Fluorescent and confocal images visualized that PZL318 formed fluorescent nanoparticles capable of targeting cancer cells and tracing their interactions with cancer cells. In vitro, 40 μM of PZL318 inhibited the proliferation of tumorigenic cells, but not nontumorigenic cells. In vivo, 10 nmol/kg of PZL318 slowed the tumor growth of S180 mice and alleviated the thrombosis of ferric chloride-treated ICR mice, while 100 μmol/kg of PZL318 did not injure healthy mice and they exhibited no liver toxicity. By analyzing Fourier transform-mass spectrometry and rotating-frame Overhauser spectroscopy (ROESY) two-dimensional nuclear magnetic resonance spectra, the chemical mechanism of PZL318-forming trimers and nanoparticles was explored. By using mesoscale simulation, a nanoparticle of 3.01 nm in diameter was predicted containing 13 trimers. Scavenging free radicals, downregulating sP-selectin expression and intercalating toward DNA were correlated with the antitumor mechanism of PZL318.
Project description:Fluorescently labelled nanoparticles are routinely used in Correlative Light Electron Microscopy (CLEM) to combine the capabilities of two separate microscope platforms: fluorescent light microscopy (LM) and electron microscopy (EM). The inherent assumption is that the fluorescent label observed under LM colocalises well with the electron dense nanoparticle observed in EM. Herein we show, by combining single molecule fluorescent imaging with optical detection of the scattering from single gold nanoparticles, that for a commercially produced sample of 10?nm gold nanoparticles tagged to Alexa-633 there is in fact no colocalisation between the fluorescent signatures of Alexa-633 and the scattering associated with the gold nanoparticle. This shows that the attached gold nanoparticle quenches the fluorescent signal by ~95%, or less likely that the complex has dissociated. In either scenario, the observed fluorescent signal in fact arises from a large population of untagged fluorophores; rendering these labels potentially ineffective and misleading to the field.
Project description:We describe a simple technique to alter the shape of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) by rolling a glass tube over them to mechanically compress them. The resulting shape change in turn induces a red-shift in the localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) scattering spectrum and exposes new surface area. The flattened particles were characterized by optical and electron microscopy, single nanoparticle scattering spectroscopy, and surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS). AFM and SEM images show that the AgNPs deform into discs; increasing the applied load from 0 to 100 N increases the AgNP diameter and decreases the height. This deformation caused a dramatic red shift in the nanoparticle scattering spectrum and also generated new surface area to which thiolated molecules could attach as evident from SERS measurements. The simple technique employed here requires no lithographic templates and has potential for rapid, reproducible, inexpensive and scalable tuning of nanoparticle shape, surface area, and resonance while preserving particle volume.
Project description:Plasmonic nanocathodes offer unique opportunities for optically driving, switching, and steering femtosecond photocurrents in nanoelectronic devices and pulsed electron sources. However, angular photocurrent distributions in nanoplasmonic systems remain poorly understood and are therefore difficult to anticipate and control. Here, we provide a direct momentum-space characterization of multiphoton photoemission from plasmonic gold nanostars and demonstrate all-optical control over these currents. Versatile angular control is achieved by selectively exciting different tips on single nanostars via laser frequency or linear polarization, thereby rotating the tip-aligned directional photoemission as observed with angle-resolved 2D velocity mapping and 3D reconstruction. Classical plasmonic field simulations combined with quantum photoemission theory elucidate the role of surface-mediated nonlinear excitation for plasmonic field enhancements highly concentrated at the sharp tips (Rtip?=?3.4?nm). We thus establish a simple mechanism for femtosecond spatiotemporal current control in designer nanosystems.
Project description:Among plasmonic nanoparticles, surfactant-free branched gold nanoparticles have exhibited exceptional properties as a nanoplatform for a wide variety of applications ranging from surface-enhanced Raman scattering sensing and imaging applications to photothermal treatment and photoimmunotherapy for cancer treatments. The effectiveness and reliability of branched gold nanoparticles in biomedical applications strongly rely on the consistency and reproducibility of physical, chemical, optical, and therapeutic properties of nanoparticles, which are mainly governed by their morphological features. Herein, we present an optimized bottom-up synthesis that improves the reproducibility and homogeneity of the gold-branched nanoparticles with desired morphological features and optical properties. We identified that the order of reagent addition is crucial for improved homogeneity of the branched nature of nanoparticles that enable a high batch-to-batch reproducibility and reliability. In addition, a different combination of the synthesis parameters, in particular, additive halides and concentration ratios of reactive Au to Ag and Au to Au seeds, which yield branched nanoparticle of similar localized surface plasmon resonances but with distinguishable changes in the dimensions of the branches, was realized. Overall, our study introduces the design parameters for the purpose-tailored manufacturing of surfactant-free gold nanostars in a reliable manner.
Project description:Correlative light and electron microscopy promises to combine molecular specificity with nanoscale imaging resolution. However, there are substantial technical challenges including reliable co-registration of optical and electron images, and rapid optical signal degradation under electron beam irradiation. Here, we introduce a new approach to solve these problems: imaging of stable optical cathodoluminescence emitted in a scanning electron microscope by nanoparticles with controllable surface chemistry. We demonstrate well-correlated cathodoluminescence and secondary electron images using three species of semiconductor nanoparticles that contain defects providing stable, spectrally-distinguishable cathodoluminescence. We also demonstrate reliable surface functionalization of the particles. The results pave the way for the use of such nanoparticles for targeted labeling of surfaces to provide nanoscale mapping of molecular composition, indicated by cathodoluminescence colour, simultaneously acquired with structural electron images in a single instrument.
Project description:Raster image correlation spectroscopy (RICS) measures the diffusion of fluorescently labelled molecules from stacks of confocal microscopy images by analysing correlations within the image. RICS enables the observation of a greater and, thus, more representative area of a biological system as compared to other single molecule approaches. Photothermal microscopy of gold nanoparticles allows long-term imaging of the same labelled molecules without photobleaching. Here, we implement RICS analysis on a photothermal microscope. The imaging of single gold nanoparticles at pixel dwell times short enough for RICS (60??s) with a piezo-driven photothermal heterodyne microscope is demonstrated (photothermal raster image correlation spectroscopy, PhRICS). As a proof of principle, PhRICS is used to measure the diffusion coefficient of gold nanoparticles in glycerol?:?water solutions. The diffusion coefficients of the nanoparticles measured by PhRICS are consistent with their size, determined by transmission electron microscopy. PhRICS was then used to probe the diffusion speed of gold nanoparticle-labelled fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF2) bound to heparan sulfate in the pericellular matrix of live fibroblast cells. The data are consistent with previous single nanoparticle tracking studies of the diffusion of FGF2 on these cells. Importantly, the data reveal faster FGF2 movement, previously inaccessible by photothermal tracking, and suggest that inhomogeneity in the distribution of bound FGF2 is dynamic.