Brief Communication

Journal of Nanoparticle Research

, Volume 12, Issue 6, pp 1997-2001

First online:

Polymersomes, smaller than you think: ferrocene as a TEM probe to determine core structure

  • A. H. JohnstonAffiliated withSchool of Biological Sciences, University of Southampton Email author 
  • , P. D. DaltonAffiliated withInstitute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, Queensland University of Technology
  • , T. A. NewmanAffiliated withSchool of Medicine, Clinical Neurosciences, University of Southampton

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By incorporating ferrocene into the hydrophobic membrane of PEG-b-PCL polymersome nanoparticles it is possible to selectively visualize their core using Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM). Two different sizes of ferrocene-loaded polymersomes with mean hydrodynamic diameters of approximately 40 and 90 nm were prepared. Image analysis of TEM pictures of these polymersomes found that the mean diameter of the core was 4–5 times smaller than the mean hydrodynamic diameter. The values obtained also allow the surface diameter and internal volume of the core to be calculated.


Nanoparticle Characterization Pharmacokinetics Polymersomes PEG PCL TEM Biomedicine