1Department of Pediatrics, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, 2Department of Infectious Diseases, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 3Department of Veterinary and Microbiological Sciences, North Dakota State University, Fargo
Source: Peiman Shahbeigi and Sina Shahbazmohamadi, Biomedical Engineering Department, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut
Nanoparticles have been increasingly used research towards targeted drug delivery and controlled drug release. While most of these particles have been developed as polymeric or liposomal particles because of their biocompatibility, there is a trend in current research toward the use of metallic and magnetic nanoparticles. These metallic nanoparticles were originally used as a contrast agent in imaging, but recent advances have shown how important they could be in drug and gene delivery and in therapeutics. Gold, silver, and paramagnetic nanoparticles have the greatest share in research being done. They have been shown to have good biocompatibility and certain varieties of magnetic nanoparticles have already been developed and distributed as therapeutic targeted drugs.
These heavy elements are typically imaged for research using fluorescence to evaluate delivery and distribution, but their atomic weights are good qualifications for increased contrast in backscatter electron analysis using a scanning electron microscope (SEM). Energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, which uses characteristic X-rays emitted upon electron beam interac…