How to Control Fluorescent Labeling of Metal Oxide Nanoparticles for Artefact-free Live Cell Microscopy

Boštjan Kokot, Hana Kokot, Polona Umek, Katarina Petra van Midden, Stane Pajk, Maja Garvas, Christian Eggeling, Tilen Koklič, Iztok Urbančič, Janez Štrancar
Nanotoxicology, October 2021; doi: 10.1080/17435390.2021.1973607 (read more here).

In brief

The assessment of a nanoparticles’ mechanism of toxicity often depends on tracking the nanoparticles in cells or tissues using non-invasive advanced optical methods, such as live-cell fluorescence microscopy. This requires stable labeling of nanoparticles with fluorescent dyes - a process which, if not carefully controlled, can result in experimental artefacts that stem from the presence of unbound fluorophores and inadvertently altered chemical and physical properties of the nanomaterial.

To prevent such unintentional errors, we here describe a minimal combination of experimental methods to enable artefact-free fluorescent labelling of metal-oxide nanoparticles and demonstrate its application in the case of TiO2 nanotubes.