Staining of tissue sections for electron microscopy with heavy metals

J Biophys Biochem Cytol. 1958 Jul 25;4(4):475-8. doi: 10.1083/jcb.4.4.475.


Heavy metals may be incorporated from solution into tissue sections for electron microscopy. The resulting increase in density of the tissue provides greatly enhanced contrast with minimal distortion. Relative densities of various structures are found to depend on the heavy metal ions present and on the conditions of staining. Certain hitherto unobserved details are revealed and some sort of specificity exists, although the factors involved are not yet understood.

MeSH terms

  • Electrons*
  • Metals*
  • Metals, Heavy*
  • Microscopy*
  • Microscopy, Electron*
  • Plants, Medicinal / therapeutic use*
  • Staining and Labeling*


  • Metals
  • Metals, Heavy