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Visualization of Dendrimer Molecules by Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM): Staining Methods and Cryo-TEM of Vitrified Solutions

Published

Author(s)

C L. Jackson, H D. Chanzy, F P. Booy, B Drake, D A. Tomalia, Barry J. Bauer, Eric J. Amis

Abstract

Images of individual dendrimer molecules of poly(amidoamine) (PAMAM) from generation 10 (G10) to G5 were imaged by conventional transmission electron microscopy (TEM) after staining with aqueous sodium phosphotunstate. The dendrimers were resolved as separate, beam-stable entities, and their sizes and distribution of sizes were statistically analyzed and compared with data from small-angle X-ray scattering in solution. Aqueous G10 dendrimers were also characterized by examination in the frozen, hydrated state after quench-freezing in liquid ethane (cryo-TEM) and the data compared with the results of the staining experiments. To a first approximation, the dendrimers appeared circular in projection and the diameters conformed to a Gaussian distribution which broadened somewhat with increasing generation number. Cryo-TEM, in general, confirmed the staining experiments but suggested that, in the native state, there is more variability in the shapes of the dendrimers, with polyhedral shapes occurring quite frequently.
Citation
Macromolecules
Volume
31
Issue
No. 18

Keywords

cryoelectron microscopy, dendrimer, morphology, stain, transmission electron microscopy

Citation

Jackson, C. , Chanzy, H. , Booy, F. , Drake, B. , Tomalia, D. , Bauer, B. and Amis, E. (1998), Visualization of Dendrimer Molecules by Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM): Staining Methods and Cryo-TEM of Vitrified Solutions, Macromolecules (Accessed June 5, 2023)
Created September 1, 1998, Updated February 17, 2017