Bio-camouflage of Anatase Nanoparticles Explored by In Situ High-Resolution Electron Microscopy

Ana R. Ribeiro, Arijita Mukherjee, Xuan Hu, Shayan Shafien, Reza Ghodsi, Kun He, Sara Gemini-Piperni, Canhui Wang, Robert F. Klie, Tolou Shokuhfar, Reza Shahbazian-Yassar, Radovan Borojevic, Luis A. Rochab, and José M. Granjeiro , 2017
Poseidon Select liquid cell in situ TEM holder
Image courtesy of Nanoscale


While titanium is the metal of choice for most prothetics and inner body devices due to its superior biocompatability, the discovery of Ti-containing species in the adjacent tissue as the result of wear and corrosion has been associated with autoimmune diseases and premature implant failures. Here, we utilize the in-situ liquid cell transmission electron microscopy (TEM) in a liquid flow holder and graphene liquid cells (GLCs) were used to investigate, for the first time, the in situ nano-bio interactions between titanium dioxide nanoparticles and biological medium. This imaging and spectroscopy methodology showed the process of formation of a ionic and proteic bio-camouflage surrounding Ti dioxide (anatase) nanoparticles that facilitates their internalization by bone cells. The in situ understanding of the mechanisms of formation of the bio-camouflage of anatase nanoparticles may contribute for the definition of strategies aimed to the manipulation of these NPs for bone regenerative purposes.

Impact Statement

A combination of SiN LC-TEM and graphene liquid cells were used to study the morphological changes of titanium dioxide agglomerates in the presence of cell culture media.