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Open AccessArticle

A New Label-Free Technique for Analysing Evaporation Induced Self-Assembly of Viral Nanoparticles Based on Enhanced Dark-Field Optical Imaging

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i3S-Instituto de Investigação e Inovação em Saúde, Universidade do Porto, 4200-135 Porto, Portugal
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INEB, Instituto de Engenharia Biomédica, 4200-135 Porto, Portugal
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Departmento de Enginharia Metalurgia e Materiais, FEUP, Faculdade de Engenharia, Universidade do Porto, 4200-465 Porto, Portugal
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Department of Chemical Engineering, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON L8S 4L7, Canada
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Departamento de Engenharia Eletrotécnica e de Computadores, FEUP, Faculdade de Engenharia, Universidade do Porto, 4200-465 Porto, Portugal
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Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nanomaterials 2018, 8(1), 1; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano8010001
Received: 22 October 2017 / Revised: 29 November 2017 / Accepted: 12 December 2017 / Published: 22 December 2017
Nanoparticle self-assembly is a complex phenomenon, the control of which is complicated by the lack of appropriate tools and techniques for monitoring the phenomenon with adequate resolution in real-time. In this work, a label-free technique based on dark-field microscopy was developed to investigate the self-assembly of nanoparticles. A bio-nanoparticle with complex shape (T4 bacteriophage) that self-assembles on glass substrates upon drying was developed. The fluid flow regime during the drying process, as well as the final self-assembled structures, were studied using dark-field microscopy, while phage diffusion was analysed by tracking of the phage nanoparticles in the bulk solutions. The concentrations of T4 phage nanoparticles and salt ions were identified as the main parameters influencing the fluid flow, particle motion and, consequently, the resulting self-assembled structure. This work demonstrates the utility of enhanced dark-field microscopy as a label-free technique for the observation of drying-induced self-assembly of bacteriophage T4. This technique provides the ability to track the nano-sized particles in different matrices and serves as a strong tool for monitoring self-assembled structures and bottom-up assembly of nano-sized building blocks in real-time. View Full-Text
Keywords: nanoparticle self-assembly; T4 phage nanoparticle suspension; enhanced dark-field microscopy; nanoparticle tracking analysis; label-free technique; drying-induced self-assembly nanoparticle self-assembly; T4 phage nanoparticle suspension; enhanced dark-field microscopy; nanoparticle tracking analysis; label-free technique; drying-induced self-assembly
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Ghaeli, I.; Hosseinidoust, Z.; Zolfagharnasab, H.; Jorge Monteiro, F. A New Label-Free Technique for Analysing Evaporation Induced Self-Assembly of Viral Nanoparticles Based on Enhanced Dark-Field Optical Imaging. Nanomaterials 2018, 8, 1.

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