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Opt Express. 2010 Feb 15;18(4):3264-73. doi: 10.1364/OE.18.003264.

Imaging gold nanoparticles in living cell environments using heterodyne digital holographic microscopy.

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  • 1Ecole SupĂ©rieure de Physique et de Chimie Industrielles de la Ville de Paris, Institut Langevin, UMR 7587 CNRS, 10 rue Vauquelin, 75231 Paris Cedex 05, France.


This paper describes an imaging microscopic technique based on heterodyne digital holography where subwavelength-sized gold colloids can be imaged in cell environments. Surface cellular receptors of 3T3 mouse fibroblasts are labeled with 40 nm gold nanoparticles, and the biological specimen is imaged in a total internal reflection configuration with holographic microscopy. Due to a higher scattering efficiency of the gold nanoparticles versus that of cellular structures, accurate localization of a gold marker is obtained within a 3D mapping of the entire sample's scattered field, with a lateral precision of 5 nm and 100 nm in the x,y and in the z directions respectively, demonstrating the ability of holographic microscopy to locate nanoparticles in living cell environments.

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