3D Analysis of Ordered Porous Polymeric Particles using Complementary Electron Microscopy Methods

Juan Alvarez, Giovanni Saudino, Valentina-Elena Musteata, Poornima Madhavan, Alessandro Genovese, Ali Reza Behzad, Rachid Sougrat, Cristiana Boi, Klaus-Viktor Peinemann, Suzana Pereira Nunes

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18 Scopus citations


Highly porous particles with internal triply periodic minimal surfaces were investigated for sorption of proteins. The visualization of the complex ordered morphology requires complementary advanced methods of electron microscopy for 3D imaging, instead of a simple 2D projection: transmission electron microscopy (TEM) tomography, slice-and-view focused ion beam (FIB) and serial block face (SBF) scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The capability of each method of 3D image reconstruction was demonstrated and their potential of application to other synthetic polymeric systems was discussed. TEM has high resolution for details even smaller than 1 nm, but the imaged volume is relatively restricted (2.5 μm)3. The samples are pre-sliced in an ultramicrotome. FIB and SBF are coupled to a SEM. The sample sectioning is done in situ, respectively by an ion beam or an ultramicrotome, SBF, a method so far mostly applied only to biological systems, was particularly highly informative to reproduce the ordered morphology of block copolymer particles with 32-54 nm nanopores and sampling volume (20 μm)3.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 27 2019

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): BAS/1/1057-01-01
Acknowledgements: The work was supported by the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), base line funding BAS/1/1057-01-01. The authors thank LNLS (Brazil) for access to the SAXS1 beamline, particularly F. Meneau.


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