Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry

, Volume 410, Issue 16, pp 3629–3638 | Cite as

Sizing lipid droplets from adult and geriatric mouse liver tissue via nanoparticle tracking analysis

  • Katherine A. Muratore
  • Charles P. Najt
  • Nicholas M. Livezey
  • James Marti
  • Douglas G. Mashek
  • Edgar A. Arriaga
Paper in Forefront


The significance of lipid droplets in lipid metabolism, cell signaling, and regulating longevity is increasingly recognized, yet the lipid droplet’s unique properties and architecture make it difficult to size and study using conventional methods. To begin to address this issue, we demonstrate the capabilities of nanoparticle tracking analysis (NTA) for sizing of lipid droplets. NTA was found to be adequate to assess lipid droplet stability over time, indicating that lipid droplet preparations are stable for up to 24 h. NTA had the ability to compare the size distributions of lipid droplets from adult and geriatric mouse liver tissue, suggesting an age-related decrease in lipid droplet size. This is the first report on the use of NTA to size intracellular organelles.

Graphical Abstract

Light scattering reveals the temporal positions of individual lipid droplets, which are recorded with a camera. The two-dimensional diffusion constant of each lipid droplet is extracted from the data set, which is then used to calculate a hydrodynamic radius using the Stokes-Einstein equation.


Lipid droplets Nanoparticle tracking analysis Aging Liver Organelles 



This work was supported by NIH AG020866. KAM acknowledges support through a University of Minnesota Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship and National Institutes of Health (NIH) AG029796. CPN acknowledges support from NIH DK007203. NML acknowledges support from NIH GM008700. DGM acknowledges support from NIH DK114401 and NIH AG055452. A portion of this work was carried out in the Minnesota Nano Center, which receives partial support from the National Science Foundation (NSF) through the NNCI program. A portion of this work was carried out in the Characterization Facility, University of Minnesota, which receives partial support from NSF through the MRSEC program.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

All mice were housed in a designated clean facility and treated in accordance with protocols approved by the University of Minnesota Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee.

Conflict of Interest

The authors have no potential conflicts of interest to disclose.

Supplementary material (33.7 mb)
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Katherine A. Muratore
    • 1
  • Charles P. Najt
    • 1
  • Nicholas M. Livezey
    • 2
  • James Marti
    • 3
  • Douglas G. Mashek
    • 1
  • Edgar A. Arriaga
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and BiophysicsUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA
  2. 2.Department of ChemistryUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA
  3. 3.Minnesota Nano CenterUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA

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