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Proceedings Paper

Investigation of cellular interactions of nanoparticles by helium ion microscopy
Author(s): B. W. Arey; V. Shutthanandan; Y. Xie; A. Tolic; N. Williams; G. Orr
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Paper Abstract

The helium ion microscope (HIM) probes light elements (e.g. C, N, O, P) with high contrast due to the large variation in secondary electron yield, which minimizes the necessity of specimen staining. A defining characteristic of HIM is its remarkable capability to neutralize charge by the implementation of an electron flood gun, which eliminates the need for coating non-conductive specimens for imaging at high resolution. In addition, the small convergence angle in HeIM offers a large depth of field (~5× FE-SEM), enabling tall structures to be viewed in focus within a single image. Taking advantage of these capabilities, we investigate the interactions of engineered nanoparticles (NPs) at the surface of alveolar type II epithelial cells grown at the airliquid interface (ALI). The increasing use of nanomaterials in a wide range of commercial applications has the potential to increase human exposure to these materials, but the impact of such exposure on human health is still unclear. One of the main routs of exposure is the respiratory tract, where alveolar epithelial cells present a vulnerable target at the interface with ambient air. Since the cellular interactions of NPs govern the cellular response and ultimately determine the impact on human health, our studies will help delineating relationships between particle properties and cellular interactions and response to better evaluate NP toxicity or biocompatibility. The Rutherford backscattered ion (RBI) is a helium ions imaging mode, which backscatters helium ions from every element except hydrogen, with a backscatter yield that depends on the atomic number of the target. Energy-sensitive backscatter analysis is being developed, which when combined with RBI image information, supports elemental identification at helium ion nanometer resolution. This capability will enable distinguishing NPs from cell surface structures with nanometer resolution.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 June 2011
PDF: 5 pages
Proc. SPIE 8036, Scanning Microscopies 2011: Advanced Microscopy Technologies for Defense, Homeland Security, Forensic, Life, Environmental, and Industrial Sciences, 80360K (1 June 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.887141
Show Author Affiliations
B. W. Arey, Pacific Northwest National Lab. (United States)
V. Shutthanandan, Pacific Northwest National Lab. (United States)
Y. Xie, Pacific Northwest National Lab. (United States)
A. Tolic, Pacific Northwest National Lab. (United States)
N. Williams, Pacific Northwest National Lab. (United States)
G. Orr, Pacific Northwest National Lab. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8036:
Scanning Microscopies 2011: Advanced Microscopy Technologies for Defense, Homeland Security, Forensic, Life, Environmental, and Industrial Sciences
Michael T. Postek; Dale E. Newbury; S. Frank Platek; David C. Joy; Tim K. Maugel, Editor(s)

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