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Overcoming the gold standard: Platinum labelling in bioimaging

bio-imaging probeimmuno-electron microscopyPlatinum nanoparticles


This is a new bio-imaging method for immunocitochemistry, protein marking and nanoparticle cellular uptake experiments.
The new method, based on the intrinsic peroxidase-like activity of the platinum nanoparticles can be applied in many EM experiments where the well-known gold nanoparticles are used, including CLEM.

Technical features

The platinum nanoparticles, as the gold ones, are easy to be functionalized with antibodies and/or fluorophores. But the platinum nanoparticles have a peculiarity: if used together with the diaminobenzindine (DAB) and the osmium tetroxide they are able to increase their electron dense signal intensity of at least 1 order of magnitude. Indeed oxidized DAB and osmium tetroxide form an electron-dense precipitate surrounding the nanoparticles themselves. This new method is interesting since it avoids costly, time consuming and artifact prone procedures that are nowadays employed in many EM experiments.

Possible Applications

  • Electron microscopy probes in nanoparticle cellular uptake experiments;
  • Electron microscopy probes in protein marking experiments;
  • Electron microscopy probes in pre-embedding immuno-gold experiments;
  • CLEM bio-imaging probes.


  • Easy to identify in electron microscopy at low magnification;
  • Same electron-density, surface properties and chemistry as gold nanoparticles;
  • Easy to be functionalized with antibodies and/or fluorophores;
  • Facilitating multiple labelling allowing the simultaneous marking of two proteins;
  • Suitable to study the intracellular fate of nanomaterials;
  • Low cytotoxicity.