In situ silver nanoparticle development for molecular-specific biological imaging via highly accessible microscopies

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In biological studies and diagnoses, brightfield (BF), fluorescence, and electron microscopy (EM) are used to image biomolecules inside cells. When compared, their relative advantages and disadvantages are obvious. BF microscopy is the most accessible of the three, but its resolution is limited to a few microns. EM provides a nanoscale resolution, but sample preparation is time-consuming. In this study, we present a new imaging technique, which we termed decoration microscopy (DecoM), and quantitative investigations to address the aforementioned issues in EM and BF microscopy. For molecular-specific EM imaging, DecoM labels proteins inside cells using antibodies bearing 1.4 nm gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) and grows silver layers on the AuNPs' surfaces. The cells are then dried without buffer exchange and imaged using scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Structures labeled with silver-grown AuNPs are clearly visible on SEM, even they are covered with lipid membranes. Using stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy, we show that the drying process causes negligible distortion of structures and that less structural deformation could be achieved through simple buffer exchange to hexamethyldisilazane. Using DecoM, we visualize the nanoscale alterations in microtubules by microtubule-severing proteins that cannot be observed with diffraction-limited fluorescence microscopy. We then combine DecoM with expansion microscopy to enable sub-micron resolution BF microscopy imaging. We first show that silver-grown AuNPs strongly absorb white light, and the structures labeled with them are clearly visible on BF microscopy. We then show that the application of AuNPs and silver development must follow expansion to visualize the labeled proteins clearly with sub-micron resolution.
Publisher
ROYAL SOC CHEMISTRY
Issue Date
2023-03
Language
English
Article Type
Article
Citation

NANOSCALE ADVANCES, v.5, no.6, pp.1636 - 1650

ISSN
2516-0230
DOI
10.1039/d2na00449f
URI
http://hdl.handle.net/10203/305790
Appears in Collection
MS-Journal Papers(저널논문)
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