Abingdon, United Kingdom
Abingdon, United Kingdom

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Motskin M.,University of Cambridge | Muller K.H.,University of Cambridge | Genoud C.,Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research | Monteith A.G.,Gatan UK | Skepper J.N.,University of Cambridge
Biomaterials | Year: 2011

Calcium phosphate and hydroxyapatite nanoparticles are extensively researched for medical applications, including bone implant materials, DNA and SiRNA delivery vectors and slow release vaccines. Elucidating the mechanisms by which cells internalize nanoparticles is fundamental for their long-term exploitation. In this study, we demonstrate that hydrophilic hydroxyapatite nanoparticles are sequestered within a specialized compartment called SCC (surface-connected compartment). This membrane-bound compartment is an elaborate labyrinth-like structure directly connected to the extracellular space. This continuity is demonstrated by in vivo 2-photon microscopy of ionic calcium using both cell-permeable and cell-impermeable dyes and by 3-D reconstructions from serial block-face SEM of fixed cells. Previously, this compartment was thought to be initiated specifically by exposure of macrophages to hydrophobic nanoparticles. However, we show that the SCC can be triggered by a much wider range of nanoparticles. Furthermore, we demonstrate its formation in A549 human lung epithelial cells, which are considerably less phagocytic than macrophages. EDX shows that extensive amounts of hydroxyapatite nanoparticles can be sequestered in this manner. We propose that SCC formation may be a means to remove large amounts of foreign material from the extracellular space, followed by slow degradation, may be to avoid excessive damage to surrounding cells or tissues. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.


Hondow N.,University of Leeds | Brown M.R.,University of Swansea | Starborg T.,University of Manchester | Monteith A.G.,Gatan UK | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Microscopy | Year: 2016

Semiconductor quantum dot nanoparticles are in demand as optical biomarkers yet the cellular uptake process is not fully understood; quantification of numbers and the fate of internalized particles are still to be achieved. We have focussed on the characterization of cellular uptake of quantum dots using a combination of analytical electron microscopies because of the spatial resolution available to examine uptake at the nanoparticle level, using both imaging to locate particles and spectroscopy to confirm identity. In this study, commercially available quantum dots, CdSe/ZnS core/shell particles coated in peptides to target cellular uptake by endocytosis, have been investigated in terms of the agglomeration state in typical cell culture media, the traverse of particle agglomerates across U-2 OS cell membranes during endocytosis, the merging of endosomal vesicles during incubation of cells and in the correlation of imaging flow cytometry and transmission electron microscopy to measure the final nanoparticle dose internalized by the U-2 OS cells. We show that a combination of analytical transmission electron microscopy and serial block face scanning electron microscopy can provide a comprehensive description of the internalization of an initial exposure dose of nanoparticles by an endocytically active cell population and how the internalized, membrane bound nanoparticle load is processed by the cells. We present a stochastic model of an endosome merging process and show that this provides a data-driven modelling framework for the prediction of cellular uptake of engineered nanoparticles in general. Lay summary: Engineered nanoparticles offer potential for improved medical diagnosis and treatment. The particles are small enough to enter cells and we can monitor this process using electron microscopy. The microscopy provides the resolution to count numbers of nanoparticles internalized by cells so that we can know the exact dose received by a cell or cell population and the final fate of the nanoparticles. © 2016 Royal Microscopical Society.


Hoppa M.B.,University of Oxford | Jones E.,University of Oxford | Karanauskaite J.,University of Oxford | Ramracheya R.,University of Oxford | And 11 more authors.
Diabetologia | Year: 2012

Aims/hypothesis To establish the occurrence, modulation and functional significance of compound exocytosis in insulin-secreting beta cells. Methods Exocytosis was monitored in rat beta cells by electrophysiological, biochemical and optical methods. The functional assays were complemented by three-dimensional reconstruction of confocal imaging, transmission and block face scanning electron microscopy to obtain ultrastructural evidence of compound exocytosis. Results Compound exocytosis contributed marginally (<5% of events) to exocytosis elicited by glucose/membrane depolarisation alone. However, in beta cells stimulated by a combination of glucose and the muscarinic agonist carbachol, 15-20% of the release events were due to multivesicular exocytosis, but the frequency of exocytosis was not affected. The optical measurements suggest that carbachol should stimulate insulin secretion by ∼40%, similar to the observed enhancement of glucose-induced insulin secretion. The effects of carbachol were mimicked by elevating [Ca 2+]i from 0.2 to 2 μmol/l Ca 2+. Two-photon sulforhodamine imaging revealed exocytotic events about fivefold larger than single vesicles and that these structures, once formed, could persist for tens of seconds. Cells exposed to carbachol for 30 s contained long (1-2 μm) serpentine-like membrane structures adjacent to the plasma membrane. Three-dimensional electron microscopy confirmed the existence of fused multigranular aggregates within the beta cell, the frequency of which increased about fourfold in response to stimulation with carbachol. Conclusions/ interpretation Although contributing marginally to glucose-induced insulin secretion, compound exocytosis becomes quantitatively significant under conditions associated with global elevation of cytoplasmic calcium. These findings suggest that compound exocytosis is a major contributor to the augmentation of glucose-induced insulin secretion by muscarinic receptor activation. © 2012 Springer-Verlag.


PubMed | University of Leeds, University of Swansea, Gatan UK and Matrix
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Journal of microscopy | Year: 2016

Semiconductor quantum dot nanoparticles are in demand as optical biomarkers yet the cellular uptake process is not fully understood; quantification of numbers and the fate of internalized particles are still to be achieved. We have focussed on the characterization of cellular uptake of quantum dots using a combination of analytical electron microscopies because of the spatial resolution available to examine uptake at the nanoparticle level, using both imaging to locate particles and spectroscopy to confirm identity. In this study, commercially available quantum dots, CdSe/ZnS core/shell particles coated in peptides to target cellular uptake by endocytosis, have been investigated in terms of the agglomeration state in typical cell culture media, the traverse of particle agglomerates across U-2 OS cell membranes during endocytosis, the merging of endosomal vesicles during incubation of cells and in the correlation of imaging flow cytometry and transmission electron microscopy to measure the final nanoparticle dose internalized by the U-2 OS cells. We show that a combination of analytical transmission electron microscopy and serial block face scanning electron microscopy can provide a comprehensive description of the internalization of an initial exposure dose of nanoparticles by an endocytically active cell population and how the internalized, membrane bound nanoparticle load is processed by the cells. We present a stochastic model of an endosome merging process and show that this provides a data-driven modelling framework for the prediction of cellular uptake of engineered nanoparticles in general.


Mendis B.G.,Durham University | Howkins A.,Brunel University | Stowe D.,Gatan UK | Major J.D.,University of Liverpool | Durose K.,University of Liverpool
Ultramicroscopy | Year: 2016

There is renewed interest in cathodoluminescence (CL) in the transmission electron microscope, since it can be combined with low energy loss spectroscopy measurements and can also be used to probe defects, such as grain boundaries and dislocations, at high spatial resolution. Transition radiation (TR), which is emitted when the incident electron crosses the vacuum-specimen interface, is however an important artefact that has received very little attention. The importance of TR is demonstrated on a wedge shaped CdTe specimen of varying thickness. For small specimen thicknesses (<250 nm) grain boundaries are not visible in the panchromatic CL image. Grain boundary contrast is produced by electron-hole recombination within the foil, and a large fraction of that light is lost to multiple-beam interference, so that thicker specimens are required before the grain boundary signal is above the TR background. This is undesirable for high spatial resolution. Furthermore, the CL spectrum contains additional features due to TR which are not part of the 'bulk' specimen. Strategies to minimise the effects of TR are also discussed. © 2016 Elsevier B.V..


PubMed | Durham University, Gatan UK, University of Liverpool and Brunel University
Type: | Journal: Ultramicroscopy | Year: 2016

There is renewed interest in cathodoluminescence (CL) in the transmission electron microscope, since it can be combined with low energy loss spectroscopy measurements and can also be used to probe defects, such as grain boundaries and dislocations, at high spatial resolution. Transition radiation (TR), which is emitted when the incident electron crosses the vacuum-specimen interface, is however an important artefact that has received very little attention. The importance of TR is demonstrated on a wedge shaped CdTe specimen of varying thickness. For small specimen thicknesses (<250nm) grain boundaries are not visible in the panchromatic CL image. Grain boundary contrast is produced by electron-hole recombination within the foil, and a large fraction of that light is lost to multiple-beam interference, so that thicker specimens are required before the grain boundary signal is above the TR background. This is undesirable for high spatial resolution. Furthermore, the CL spectrum contains additional features due to TR which are not part of the bulk specimen. Strategies to minimise the effects of TR are also discussed.


Gee V.L.,Teagasc | Carey M.A.,Gatan UK | Auty M.A.E.,Teagasc
Scanning | Year: 2010

A new cryo-scanning transmission electron microscopy (cryo-STEM) technique for imaging casein micelles in a field emission scanning electron microscope is presented. Thin films of micellar casein suspensions on lacey carbon grids were prepared using a modified sample holder developed by Gatan UK. Bright and dark field images were obtained at -135°C showing casein micelles in their frozen hydrated state and in the size range 30-500 nm. Results were compared favorably with published images of casein micelles obtained with conventional cryo-transmission electron microscopy, suggesting that cryo-STEM is a useful alternative technique for visualizing food colloids close to their native state. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


Hughes L.,Oxford Brookes University | Hawes C.,Oxford Brookes University | Monteith S.,Gatan UK | Vaughan S.,Oxford Brookes University
Protoplasma | Year: 2014

One of the major drawbacks in transmission electron microscopy has been the production of three-dimensional views of cells and tissues. Currently, there is no one suitable 3D microscopy technique that answers all questions and serial block face scanning electron microscopy (SEM) fills the gap between 3D imaging using high-end fluorescence microscopy and the high resolution offered by electron tomography. In this review, we discuss the potential of the serial block face SEM technique for studying the three-dimensional organisation of animal, plant and microbial cells. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Wien.


Silver J.,Brunel University | Yan X.,Brunel University | Fern G.R.,Brunel University | Wilkinson N.,Gatan UK
Journal of Physics: Conference Series | Year: 2015

Cathodoluminescence (CL) spectra have been collected from single nanometer-sized crystals of Y1.98Tb0.02O2S and Gd1.98Tb0.02O2S using a Gatan Vulcan cathodoluminescence imaging spectrometer. Slight variations observed in the CL spectra taken from the crystals are explained, and discussed in relation to bulk samples. © Published under licence by IOP Publishing Ltd.


PubMed | Gatan U.K., University of Cambridge and Brunel University
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Nano letters | Year: 2015

Nanocathodoluminescence reveals the spectral properties of individual InGaN quantum wells in high efficiency light emitting diodes. We observe a variation in the emission wavelength of each quantum well, in correlation with the Si dopant concentration in the quantum barriers. This is reproduced by band profile simulations, which reveal the reduction of the Stark shift in the quantum wells by Si doping. We demonstrate nanocathodoluminescence is a powerful technique to optimize doping in optoelectronic devices.

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