Dark field transmission electron microscopy has been applied herein to visualize the interactions of inorganic nanomaterials with biological systems. This new application of a known technique addresses a deficiency in status quo visualization techniques. High resolution and low noise images can be acquired to locate and identify crystalline nanoparticles in complex biological matrices. Moreover, through the composition of multiple images taken at different angular beam tilts, it is possible to image a majority of nanoparticles present at a site in dark field mode. This facilitates clarity regarding the internalization of nanomaterials in cellular systems. In addition, comparing dark field images recorded at different angular tilts yields insight into the character of nanoparticle faceting.
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© 2015 American Chemical Society.