Synthesis and electron microscopic analysis of the self-assembly of polymer and ferritin core-shell structures

Laying Wu, Tao Li, Douglas Blom, Jibin Zhao, Soumitra Ghoshroy, Qian Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations


Self-assembly of poly(4-vinylpyridine) (P4VP) and ferritin produced a spherical core-shell structure, which was analyzed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). In particular, for better understanding, the organization of such core-shell nanostructures, an optimal protocol for preparation of TEM thin sectioning of ferritin-P4VP composites, was developed. It entails fixing the ferritin-P4VP complex with 2.5% glutaraldehyde and infiltrating it with a mixture of acetone/resin while omitting the OsO4 postfixation and ethanol dehydration steps of the conventional protocol. Using this method, a round-shaped thin section structure with unevenly distributed dark and white components was observed. The dark component from the thin section structure was determined to contain ferritin by energy-filtered TEM imaging and iron element mapping, whereas the white part was identified as P4VP by its energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) spectrum.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)636-641
Number of pages6
JournalMicroscopy Research and Technique
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2011



  • Core-shell structure
  • EDS
  • Ferritin
  • P4VP
  • Self-assembly
  • TEM thin sectioning

Cite this