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Issue 44, 2019
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Microgel PAINT – nanoscopic polarity imaging of adaptive microgels without covalent labelling

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Abstract

Polymer nanostructures have enormous potential for various applications in materials and life sciences. In order to exploit and understand their full capabilities, a detailed analysis of their structures and the environmental conditions in them is essential on the nanoscopic scale. With a super-resolution fluorescence microscopy technique known as PAINT (Points Accumulation for Imaging in Nanoscale Topography), we imaged colloidal hydrogel networks, so-called microgels, having a hydrodynamic radius smaller than the diffraction limit, gaining unprecedented insight into their full 3D structure which is not accessible in this much detail with any other experimental method. In addition to imaging of the microgel structure, the use of Nile Red as the solvatochromic fluorophore allowed us to resolve the polarity conditions within the investigated microgels, thus providing nanoscopic information on the x,y,z-position of labels including their polarity without the need of covalent labelling. With this imaging approach, we give a detailed insight into adapting structural and polarity properties of temperature-responsive microgels when changing the temperature beyond the volume phase transition.

Graphical abstract: Microgel PAINT – nanoscopic polarity imaging of adaptive microgels without covalent labelling

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
08 Jul 2019
Accepted
16 Sep 2019
First published
20 Sep 2019

This article is Open Access
All publication charges for this article have been paid for by the Royal Society of Chemistry

Chem. Sci., 2019,10, 10336-10342
Article type
Edge Article

Microgel PAINT – nanoscopic polarity imaging of adaptive microgels without covalent labelling

A. Purohit, S. P. Centeno, S. K. Wypysek, W. Richtering and D. Wöll, Chem. Sci., 2019, 10, 10336
DOI: 10.1039/C9SC03373D

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