Comparison of hexamethyldisilazane and critical point drying treatments for SEM analysis of anaerobic biofilms and granular sludge

J Electron Microsc (Tokyo). 2003;52(4):429-33. doi: 10.1093/jmicro/52.4.429.


We present a fast procedure for scanning electron microscopy (SEM) analysis in which hexamethyldisilazane (HMDS) solvent, instead of the critical point drying, is used to remove liquids from a microbiological specimen. The results indicate that the HMDS solvent is suitable for drying samples of anaerobic cells for examination by SEM and does not cause cell structure disruption.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bacteria, Anaerobic / ultrastructure*
  • Biofilms / growth & development*
  • Bioreactors
  • Desiccation*
  • Methanosarcinales / ultrastructure
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning / methods*
  • Organosilicon Compounds*
  • Sewage / microbiology*
  • Tissue Fixation


  • Organosilicon Compounds
  • Sewage
  • hexamethylsilazane