In a collaborative effort between physicists and biologists, the Poseidon Select system was used to highlight an original application of liquid-cell TEM in the fields of biomedicine and nanotoxicity. The results of this study led by Damien Alloyeau (University Paris) have just been published in ACS Nano, a monthly, peer-reviewed, scientific journal published by the American Chemical Society.
The Poseidon Select system allowed the researchers to study the degradation of carbon nanotubes (CNT) mediated by reactive oxygen species (ROS). Remarkably this study demonstrated that this first in situ imaging of CNT- oxidative attack perfectly recapitulates the long-term ROS-induced aging of CNT in macrophages, where they are stored and degraded in the organism after in vivo injection. Such dynamical observations of nanomaterials under oxidative stress is a step forward for studying their behavior and reactivity in biological environment at the relevant scale. These mechanistic insights on the resulting nanomaterial transformations are of primary importance for both material scientists interested in optimizing the reactivity of nanostructures in biological environment and biologists anxious to evaluate the effects and potential risk of nanomaterials for the organism.