TiO2 Nanoparticles as a Soft X-ray Molecular Probe
- Author(s): Ashcroft, Jared M.
- et al.
With the emergence of soft x-ray techniques for imaging cells, there is a pressing need to develop protein localization probes that can be unambiguously identified within the region of x-ray spectrum used for imaging. TiO2 nanocrystal colloids, which have a strong absorption cross-section within the "water-window" region of x-rays, are ideally suited as soft x-ray microscopy probes. To demonstrate their efficacy, TiO2-streptavidin nanoconjugates were prepared and subsequently labeled microtubules polymerized from biotinylated tubulin. The microtubules were imaged using scanning transmission x-ray microscopy (STXM), and the TiO2 nanoparticle tags were specifically identified using x-ray absorption near edge spectroscopy (XANES). These experiments demonstrate that TiO2 nanoparticles are potential probes for protein localization analyses using soft x-ray microscopy.