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Mounting proteins on metal nanoparticles: Statistical analysis of AFM images

L. Gurevich, P. Fojan, R.K. Saxena and S.B. Petersen
Aalborg University, DK

Keywords:
nanoparticles, protein, AFM, image analysis

Abstract:
In this work we assess the use of atomic force microscopy (AFM) study combined with activity assays, DLS and fluorescent measurements for complex characterization of nanoparticle-protein conjugates. Image processing techniques were used to locate and characterise individual particles on the image and derive ensemble characteristics. As a result we obtain meaningful information on conjugates present in the solution, including size distribution, degree of aggregation etc. thus combining imaging of individual conjugates with statistical information. We show that this fairly simple image processing steps can greatly increase the sensitivity and can detect formation of protein sub-monolayers on the particle surface and onset of aggregation by monitoring relevant ensemble characteristics.

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