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Liquid Phase Electron Microscopy of Soft Specimens

De Pace, Cesare; (2022) Liquid Phase Electron Microscopy of Soft Specimens. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

In the last decade, liquid-phase electron microscopy (LPEM) has provided a new strategy for investigating samples immersed in their media at the nanoscale.1–8 The main focus of previous research have mainly revolved around inorganic matter (e.g. metallic nanoparticles);9 nonetheless, the field of soft materials, classified as organic synthetic (i.e. polymers and gels), and biological (i.e. membranes and protein) structures have rapidly grown interest in LPEM to study fundamental questions.2 Soft materials deform easily or undergo dynamic changes by thermal fluctuations and external forces. Despite the great advantages LPEM provides, electron beam damage and image contrast present still an issue, particularly in sensitive samples. New technological and methodological advances may attenuate these issues. There is a need to employ these advancements to develop strategies to image soft materials. This thesis focuses on the development of methodologies for the investigation of soft materials using LPEM. Amongst the different conducted studies, there are three main sections of focus: (i) the reconstruction of three-dimensional (3D) structures via Brownian tomography (BT) and Brownian particle analysis (BPA), enabling the investigation of the 3D conformational space of single unit of the specimen, via BT, and an average reconstruction of several specimens, via BPA; (ii) the dynamic studies of biological and synthetic soft materials, specifically oxidant-sensitive polymeric micelles and viruses, focusing on their disassembly via external factors, reactive-oxygen species (ROS) and virucidal nanoparticles respectively; and (iii) the imaging of intracellular ultrastructure via organometallic, cyclometalated complexes for intracellular targeting, particularly actin and nuclear DNA, via correlative light and liquid phase electron microscopy (CLLEM) .

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Liquid Phase Electron Microscopy of Soft Specimens
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2022. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Dept of Chemistry
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10149138
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