On the Operational Aspects of Measuring Nanoparticle Sizes

Recent collaborative work demonstrates an unexpected but far-reaching effect of choosing the experimental protocol used to characterize the size of nanoparticles of interest for nanotoxicology studies. In addition to conventional limitations in this area (agglomeration, degradation over time, statistical methods), it has been shown that nanoparticles may also have binding preferences on conventional imaging media (carbon, mica), which masked the presence of a certain category of the total nanoparticle population. The conclusion of this work draws a particular attention to nanoparticle size characterizations and imposes a "mandatory" combination of at least two or three different techniques to understand the overall characterization of a nanoparticle sample.

This work was in collaboration with Renaud Podor (ICSM, Marcoule) and Nathalie Herlin (IRAMIS/NIME/LEDNA, Saclay).
The AFM measurements of nanoparticles were initiated by Louis Chantalat during his L3 internship and continued by Jean-Marie Teulon and Christian Godon with the help of Michael Odorico. TEM measurements in Grenoble were performed by Christine Moriscot. The special image processing was done by Wendy Chen.

Teulon J-M, Godon C, Chantalat L, Moriscot C, Cambedouzou J, Odorico M, Ravaux J, Podor R, Gerdil A, Habert A, Herlin-Boime N, Chen S-wW and Pellequer J-L (2019) On the operational aspects of measuring nanoparticle sizes. Nanomaterials 9: 18.