Institute of Functional Interfaces

Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis: A powerful tool for characterizing magnetosome preparations

  • chair:

    Fernández-Castané, A. / Li, H. / Joseph, S. / Ebeler, M. / Franzreb, M. / Bracewell, D.G. / Overton, T.W. / Thomas, O.R.T. (2020)

  • place:

    biorxiv 2020,

  • Date: Juni 2020


Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis (NTA) has been employed to measure the particle concentration and size distribution of magnetosomes extracted and purified from Magnetospirillum gryphiswaldense MSR-1, and then exposed to probe ultrasonication for various times, or 1% (w/v) sodium dodecyl sulphate (SDS) for 1 h. Particle concentration increased 3.7-fold over the first 15 min of ultrasonication (from 2 × 108 to >7.3 × 108 particles mL−1), but fell steeply to ~3.6 × 108 particles mL−1 after 20 min. NTA of untreated magnetosome preparation confirmed a wide particle distribution dominated by larger species (D[1,0] = 312 nm; Dn50 = 261 nm; mode = 243 nm) with no particles in the size range of isolated single magnetosomes. After 5 min of ultrasonication the whole particle size distribution shifted to smaller size (D[1,0] = 133 nm; Dn50 = 99 nm; mode = 36 nm, corresponding to individual magnetosomes), but longer treatment times (15 and 20 min) reversed the previous transition; all characteristic numbers of the particle size distributions increased and very few small particles were detected. Side-by-side comparison of NTA and TEM sizing data revealed remarkable similarity at low ultrasonication times, with both showing single magnetosomes accounted for ~30% population after 5 min. Exposure of magnetosomes to SDS resulted in a ~3-fold increase in particle concentration to 5.8 × 108 particles mL−1, narrowing of the size distribution and gross elimination of particles below 60 nm. We conclude that NTA is a rapid cost-effective technique for measuring particle number, size distribution and aggregation state of magnetosomes in solution, but requires further work to improve its resolving power.