SEM X-Ray Microanalysis of Nanoparticles Present in Tissue or Cultured Cell Thin Sections
Energy Dispersive X-ray (EDX) microanalysis is a technique used for identification of the elemental composition of a specimen. The detection of nanoparticles in tissue is a common problem of biodistribution and toxicity studies. High-resolution transmission electron microscopy (TEM) can be employed to detect nanoparticles based on morphology; however, TEM alone cannot conclusively identify nanoparticles. Indeed, micrographs are often ambiguous due to particle aggregation, contamination, or morphology change after cellular uptake. EDX can be used to confirm the composition and distribution of the nanoparticles through spectrum and elemental mapping. This protocol outlines the procedures for compositional identification of nanoparticles using an EDX spectrometer incorporated into a scanning electron microscopy (SEM) system. This protocol outlines sample preparation, EDX spectrum acquisition, elemental peak analysis and spectral mapping acquisition.
Key wordsNanoparticles electron microscopy energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX)
This project has been funded in whole or in part with federal funds from the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, under contract N01-CO-12400. The content of this publication does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Department of Health and Human Services, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.
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