Three-dimensional nondestructive, nanoresolution, and in situ visualization of protein spatial localization in a large, thick single cell remains challenging. In this study, we designed a multifunctional iron oxide (Fe@BFK) nanoprobe that possesses fluorescence and hard X-ray imaging signals. This probe can specifically target the human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) protein and help optimize the label condition and selection of suitable samples for X-ray imaging. Combining 30 nm resolution synchrotron radiation hard X-ray nanocomputed tomography and the X-ray-sensitive Fe@BFK nanoprobe, a 3D localization of HER2 on SK-BR-3 cells was obtained for the first time. HER2 was mainly localized and cluster-distributed on the cell membrane with a heterogeneous pattern. This study provides a novel method for the in situ and nondestructive synchrotron radiation imaging of the desired protein localization in large, thick cells and evaluation of the true cellular distribution of a nanoprobe with high resolution.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Analytical Chemistry