Viral nanoparticles (VNPs) are attractive platforms for use in the biotechnology and biomedical fields because of their biological nature. A wide variety of these particles, labeled with fluorescent reporters, have been characterized using flow cytometry and cellular imaging techniques. Fluorescence microscopy allows the direct observation of VNPs on the cell surface or inside the membrane as well as the cellular localization of the nanoparticles while flow cytometry allows the statistical quantification of nanoparticle uptake and targeting specificity. These techniques are essential when characterizing the properties of VNPs and provide information toward the use of VNPs for targeting, imaging, and/or cargo delivery. WIREs Nanomed Nanobiotechnol 2012, 4:511–524. doi: 10.1002/wnan.1177

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