Accessibility of Wood Cell Walls to Well-defined Platinum Nanoparticles
H Matsunaga, Y Kataoka, M Kiguchi, P D Evans
Copper nanoparticles are found in the walls of parenchyma cells in southern pine sapwood treated with a micronised wood preservative, but they are absent from tracheid walls. Hence, we hypothesized that small nanoparticles can penetrate the walls of unlignified parenchyma cells, but are excluded from lignified tracheid walls. This paper tests this hypothesis by treating pine sapwood with an aqueous emulsion of coated, inert, platinum nanoparticles (2-4 nm). A focused ion beam was used to make ultra-thin sections of the cell wall layers of earlywood tracheid and ray parenchyma cells excised from treated southern pine sapwood. High resolution transmission electron microscopy and high-angle annular dark-field scanning transmission electron microscopy in combination with energy dispersive analysis of x-rays were used to examine the penetration of cell walls by platinum nanoparticles. Platinum nanoparticles were only deposited on the wall adjacent to the cell lumen of tracheids and were not detected in the cell wall. In contrast, platinum nanoparticles penetrated ray parenchyma cell walls. These particles were identified as crystalline (metallic) platinum by lattice image analysis in high resolution transmission electron microscopy. Therefore we conclude that small nanoparticles (2-4 nm) are able to penetrate ray parenchyma cell walls, but are excluded from lignified tracheid walls.
Keywords: platinum nanoparticles, nanodistribution, cell wall, focused ion beam, high resolution electron microscopy, lattice image analysis, x-ray microanalysis, southern pine