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Publication . Article . 2019

Alcian blue staining to track the intracellular fate of hyaluronic-acid-based nanoparticles at transmission electron microscopy

Flavia Carton; Mathieu Repellin; Giovanna Lollo; Manuela Malatesta;
Open Access
Published: 12 Dec 2019 Journal: European Journal of Histochemistry, volume 63, issue 4 (issn: 2038-8306, Copyright policy )
Publisher: PAGEPress Publications
Country: France
The main step in the assessment of nanomaterial safety and suitability for biomedical use is the location and the dynamic tracking of nanoparticles (NPs) inside cells or tissues. To precisely investigate the uptake mechanisms and intracellular fate of NPs, transmission electron microscopy is the technique of choice; however, the detection of NPs may sometimes be problematic. In fact, while NPs containing strongly electron dense (e.g., metal) components do not require specific detection methods at the ultrastructural level, organic NPs are hardly detectable in the intracellular environment due to their intrinsic moderate electron density. In this study, the critical-electrolyte-concentration Alcian Blue method set up by Schofield et al. in 1975 was applied to track hyaluronic-acid-based NPs in muscle cells in vitro. This long-established histochemical method proved to be a powerful tool allowing to identify not only whole NPs while entering cells and moving into the cytoplasm, but also their remnants following lysosomal degradation and extrusion.
Subjects by Vocabulary

Library of Congress Subject Headings: lcsh:Biology (General) lcsh:QH301-705.5

Medical Subject Headings: technology, industry, and agriculture inorganic chemicals health care economics and organizations respiratory system

ACM Computing Classification System: ComputingMilieux_MISCELLANEOUS

Microsoft Academic Graph classification: Transmission electron microscopy Biophysics Microscopy Nanocarriers Ultrastructure Intracellular Nanoparticle Staining Nanomaterials Chemistry


nanocarriers, hyaluronate, histochemistry, ultrastructure, [SDV.SP]Life Sciences [q-bio]/Pharmaceutical sciences, [SDV.IB.IMA]Life Sciences [q-bio]/Bioengineering/Imaging, [SDV.BC.IC]Life Sciences [q-bio]/Cellular Biology/Cell Behavior [q-bio.CB], Cell Biology, Histology, Biophysics, Technical Note

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Funded by
INnovative Verona university’s Inter-disciplinary, Inter-sectoral and International Training Experience
  • Funder: European Commission (EC)
  • Project Code: 754345
  • Funding stream: H2020 | MSCA-COFUND-DP
Validated by funder
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