In the previous post, I have shown that there is no sound Transmission Electron Microscopy evidence that would indicate the existence of the stripes.
In this second example, I discuss the evidence supporting the existence of “water-soluble” stripy nanoparticles. The “water-soluble” stripy nanoparticles were first reported by Uzun et al (Chem Comm 2008, 196). The authors argue that nanoparticles which are capped by a mixture of octane thiol (OT) and 11-mercaptoundecane sulfonate (MUS) are stripy.
The totality of the scanning probe microscopy published experimental evidence is shown below:
For each composition, this amounts to one image of one nanoparticle. Independently of the interpretation of these images (discussed in previous posts and in “stripy revisited”), it is truly remarkable that so little evidence has been accepted as a convincing proof.
I have no doubt that the authors have many more images, but it is the job of the referees to evaluate the results and they cannot do so if the evidence is not included – it could have been done in supporting information since this was a communication with restricted space for results; it is also the job of the scientific journals to ensure that supporting evidence is provided for evaluation by peers beyond the peer review process.
Even more remarkable:
The 2:1 MUS:OT water-soluble nanoparticle (left above) form the basis of the cell uptake study published in Nature Materials the same year (Verma et al). This article contains also one image of one 2:1 MUS:OT water-soluble nanoparticle (right below).
and… it is the same image. [update: this has led to a correction at Nature Materials]
There is now one more article on the uptake of those particles in cells, published this year in Biointerphases. Since it has been clearly demonstrated in the previous articles that 2:1 MUS:OT water-soluble nanoparticle are stripy, the authors/referees/editors have not felt the need to include any further experimental evidence: there is no STM images in that latter article.
Uzun, O., Hu, Y., Verma, A., Chen, S., Centrone, A., & Stellacci, F. (2008). Water-soluble amphiphilic gold nanoparticles with structured ligand shells Chemical Communications (2) DOI: 10.1039/b713143g
Carney, R., Carney, T., Mueller, M., & Stellacci, F. (2012). Dynamic Cellular Uptake of Mixed-Monolayer Protected Nanoparticles Biointerphases, 7 (1-4) DOI: 10.1007/s13758-011-0017-3
Verma, A., Uzun, O., Hu, Y., Hu, Y., Han, H., Watson, N., Chen, S., Irvine, D., & Stellacci, F. (2008). Surface-structure-regulated cell-membrane penetration by monolayer-protected nanoparticles Nature Materials, 7 (7), 588-595 DOI: 10.1038/nmat2202