Immunogold labelling

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Immunogold labelling is a form of electron microscopy. This method is used in molecular biology to determine the distribution of proteins in a cell.

A thin sample is initially incubated with a primary antibody. A secondary antibody is then added which is labelled with a gold nanoparticle. Gold nanoparticle labels are useful as they are very easy to spot as it is electron dense and is seen as a black dot on an electron microscope

Using an array of antibodies in a yeast cell for example the protein in the spindle pole body can be localised.

However, this method can give a misleading 2D image so further methods such as; tomography, z-stacks and single particle analysis can be used to create a more precise 3D image [1].


  1. Molecular Biology of the Cell, Alberts, 2008

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