Skip to main content

Quantitative characterization of theranostic nanoparticles by electron microscopy

Thursday, October 11, 2012 — Poster Session III

10:00 a.m. – Noon

Natcher Conference Center, Building 45




  • M Aronova
  • A Sousa
  • H Bryant
  • J Morgan
  • A Bhirde
  • G Zhang
  • J Frank
  • X Chen
  • R Leapman


Nanoparticles for applications in disease diagnosis and treatment have been the subject of intense research. These so-called theranostic nanoparticles have typically a hybrid nature, incorporating both organic and inorganic components. In addition, theranostic particles are generally modular, in that they contain a core platform onto which additional constituents can be assembled. The core of such nanoparticles can be made of either organic (dendrimers, hydrogels, etc) or inorganic (colloidal gold, quantum dots, nanotubes, etc) components. Functionality, in turn, is achieved through the attachment of targeting moieties (e.g., peptides or antibodies), drug molecules (e.g., cisplatin for cancer therapy), and image contrast agents (e.g., iron oxide and gadolinium for magnetic resonance, or fluorescent dyes for optical imaging). One of the most important and widely used tools for nanoparticle characterization is transmission electron microscopy (TEM), which affords enough resolution to visualize individual nanoparticles down to the smallest sizes. Conventional TEM, however, provides typically no quantitative information about a given nanoparticle population other than overall particle shape and size distribution. Here we demonstrate the use of two somewhat underutilized techniques in electron microscopy for quantitative nanoparticle characterization: scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) and energy-filtering transmission electron microscopy (EFTEM).

back to top