Investigation of Nanostructures using Small-Angle X-ray Scattering

Thünemann A. F.1

1BAM Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing, Unter den Eichen 87, 12205 Berlin, Germany


This talk focuses on (polymeric) nanostructures in the context of using small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) for their analysis. A size range of 1 to 100 nm is covered. Examples are given for diluted polymeric systems, polymer stabilized core-shell nanoparticles and silver nanoparticles.

Hyperbranched poly(ethylene imine)s (PEI)s functionalized with maltose, maltotriose and maltoheptaose from distinct core-shell globular nanoparticles as revealed using the Beaucage unified exponential/power-law approach [1]. The functionalized PEIs possess a remarkable stability against changes of pH and temperature, which makes them promising for a wide range of biomedical applications. Non-viral gene vectors, based on PEI are discussed such as thyroid hormone (T3)-modified polyethylene glycol-PEI graft copolymers [2] and uronic acids functionalized PEIs [3]. The synthesis of peptide-coated silver nanoparticles is explained [4] and how these particles are used in nanotoxicological studies [5]. Further nanostructures are superparamagnetic core-shell nanoparticles as solid supports for an advanced peptide synthesis [6] and the fibril structure of eukaryote type actin and profilin [7]. It is explained how the nanostructures of micrometer-sized cellulose beads can be revealed without drying in their gnativeh aqueous surroundings [8]. Analytically monitored digestions of silver nanoparticles and their toxicity for human intestinal cells are reported (see figure below). The progress of standardization of SAXS as a reliable and traceable method for nanotechnology will be discussed.


Figure. Analytics of digested silver nanoparticles after step (2, mouth) with artificial saliva, gastric juice (3, stomach) and after the complete digestion process (4, intestines). (a) Filed flow fractionation (A4F) fractograms with UV/vis detection, (b) DLS and (c) SAXS (Böhmert et. al. Nanotoxicology doi:10.3109/17435390.2013.815284).



1.             Thunemann, A. F.; Bienert, R.; et. al. Macromolecular Chemistry and Physics 2012, 213 (22), 2362-2369.

2.             Rudolph, C.; Sieverling, N.; Schillinger, U.; Thunemann, A. F. et. al. Biomaterials 2007, 28 (10), 1900-1911.

3.             Weiss, S. I.; Sieverling, N.; Niclasen, M.; Thunemann, A. F. et. al. Biomaterials 2006, 27 (10), 2302-2312.

4.             Graf, P.; Mantion, A.; Thunemann, A. F.; Chemistry-a European Journal 2009, 15 (23), 5831-5844.

5.             Haase, A.; Rott, S.; Mantion, A.; Thunemann, A. F. et. al. Toxicological Sciences 2012, 126 (2), 457-468.

6.             Stutz, C.; Bilecka, I.; Thunemann, A. F.; et. al. Chemical communications  2012, 48 (57), 7176-8.

7.             Guljamow, A.; Delissen, F.; Baumann, O.; Thunemann, A. F.; Dittmann, E. PLoS One 2012, 7 (1), 221-231.

8.             Thunemann, A. F.; Klobes, P.; Wieland, C.; Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry 2011, 401 (4), 1101-1108.