Nanoparticle Characterization Samples

Lipid Nanoparticle (LNP) Characterization

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Lipid Nanoparticles (LNPs) have become a leading non-viral delivery system for therapeutics and vaccines.  LNP size, size distribution, lamellarity, cargo encapsulation, and stability are critical factors which influence their in vivo effectiveness. Cryo-TEM can be used to assess all of these factors, as well as provide confidence in sample uniformity and purity, and evaluate the influence of storage conditions such as pH, temperature, and time on lipid nanoparticle morphology.

Cryo-TEM can be used to reveal sample information at multiple levels - from the LNP population as a whole, down to minute structural details, such as the leaflets of lipid bilayers. In addition, cryo-TEM can visualize bleb formation in LNPs and the lamellarity of your lipid nanoparticle, showing if your LNP is unilamellar or multilamellar.

Microscopic image of lipid nanoparticle characterization by cryo-tem | nanoimaging services
Visualize mRNA-loaded (left) and unloaded (right) lipid nanoparticle samples with cryo-TEM imaging.

Visualize the unexpected with cryo-EM.

Microscopic image of lipid nanoparticle characterization by vryo-tem | nano imaging services

While typically spherical and ~20-100 nm in diameter, lipid nanoparticles (LNPs) could unexpectedly be produced in a variety of shapes and sizes, as seen in the image. Along with particle size distribution, the fraction of particles which have multiple bilayers, multiple compartments (pink arrows), or contain other vesicles (green arrow) can be determined.

When a detailed 3-dimensional understanding of particle morphology and contents is required, cryo-electron tomography is used to image a small subset of particles.

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