In the field of nanomedicine, the characterization of functionalized drug delivery systems, introduced on market as efficacious and selective therapeutics, represents a pivotal aspect of great importance. In particular, the morphology of polymeric nanoparticles, the most studied nanocarriers, is frequently assessed by transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Despite of TEM high resolution and versatility, this technology is frequently hampered by both the complicated procedure for sample preparation and the operative condition of analysis. Considering the scanning probe microscopies, atomic force microscopy (AFM) represents an extraordinary tool for the detailed characterization of submicron-size structure as the surface functionalization at the atomic scale. In this paper we discussed the advantage and limits of these microscopies applied to the characterization of PLGA nanoparticles functionalized with three different kinds of ligands (carbohydrate ligand, an antibody and quantum dots crystals) intentionally designed, created and tailored with specific physico-chemical properties to meet the needs of specific applications (targeting or imaging).
Citation: Ruozi B, Belletti D, Vandelli MA, Pederzoli F, Veratti P, et al. (2014) AFM/ TEM Complementary Structural Analysis of Surface-Functionalized Nanoparticles. J Phys Chem Biophys 4:150. doi: 10.4172/2161-0398.1000150