Investigating at transmission electron microscopy the intracellular trafficking of hyaluronic acid-based nanoparticles remains a challenge due to their intrinsic weak electron density. Here we describe a simple protocol to stain hyaluronic acid that allows visualization of hyaluronic acid-based nanoparticles inside cells at both light and electron microscopy. By applying the critical-electrolyte-concentration Alcian blue method, these nanoparticles were observed as blue dots at bright-field microscopy or filled with fine electron dense precipitates at transmission electron microscopy.
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