Negative staining

Negative staining enables to rapidly contrast nanoscale specimen (e.g. virus particles, liposomes, isolated organelles etc.) using a heavy metal stain. After adhering the sample onto an EM grid the bound particles will be stained using electron dense heavy metals (e.g. uranyl acetate or phosphotungstic acid) and can be imaged immediately after drying.

We also apply a modified technique which combines heavy metal stains with structural support provided by embedding the sample in a thin layer of methyl cellulose (see image). This method is adopted from contrasting sections according to the Tokuyasu method.












T4 Phage (Ben Temperton lab) after embedding in methyl cellulose / uranyl acetate (bar = 50nm)