Production of nanoscopic metal labels for electron microscopy: Specific detection of target DNA

Hyonchol Kim, Kenji Yasuda*, Hiroyuki Takei

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


The simultaneous detection of multiple target biomolecules with scanning electron microscopy is difficult due to the lack of a suitable label set. Unlike the fluorescence dyes used for fluorescence microscopy, there are no readily available labels that can be distinguished. We propose using nanoscopic metal particles of different element species as labels because various metals scatter electrons differently, making them distinguishable in backscattered electron images. We have developed a universal method for forming such metal particles. They are prepared by thermal deposition of a metal onto surface-adsorbed latex spheres having the shape of a half-shell, creating exposed metal and latex surfaces. Either surface can be selectively modified with probe DNA to enable the half-shell label to react with target DNA. Half-shells prepared with different metals were clearly distinguished in the backscattered electron observation mode of a field emission scanning electron microscope. Target DNA was detected with these half-shells, indicating that this half-shell labeling can be used for simultaneous detection of specific target biomolecules.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalSensors and Actuators, B: Chemical
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Oct 12
Externally publishedYes


  • Backscattered electron
  • DNA hybridization
  • Field emission scanning electron microscopy
  • Nanoscopic metal label
  • Thermal evaporation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Instrumentation
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Materials Chemistry


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