Transmission electron microscopy of lipid vesicles for drug delivery: Comparison between positive and negative staining

Valentina Bello, Giovanni Mattei, Paolo Mazzoldi, Nicoletta Vivenza, Paolo Gasco, Jean Marc Idee, Caroline Robic, Elisabetta Borsella

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)


Lipid-containing nanostructures, in the form of solid lipid nanoparticles or iron oxide nanoparticles (NPs) coated with a lipid shell, were used as case studies for assessing and optimizing staining for transmission electron microscopy structural and compositional characterization. These systems are of paramount importance as drug delivery systems or as bio-compatible contrast agents. In particular, we have treated the systems with a negative (phospshotungstic acid) or with a positive (osmium tetroxide) staining agent. For iron-oxide NPs coated with the lipid shell, negative staining was more efficient with respect to the positive one. Nevertheless, in particular cases the combination of the two staining procedures provided more complete morphological and compositional characterization of the particles. © 2010 Microscopy Society of America.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)456 - 461
Number of pages6
JournalMicroscopy and Microanalysis
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2010
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Instrumentation
  • Medicine(all)

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