N A N O P R O B E S     N E W S
Vol. 11, No. 5         June/July, 2011

On the frontiers with Nanogold®:
Nanoprobes Featured Collaborator
Dr. Wanzhong He

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One Scientist’s Story: Dr. Wanzhong He

Dr. Wanzhong He, pioneering electron tomography with Nanogold.Dr. Wanzhong He started using Nanoprobes technology after he joined the laboratory of Dr. Pamela Bjorkman at Cal Tech, a specialist in finding delicate proteins, such as membrane proteins, in cells and tissues.

While at Cal Tech, Dr. He developed refinements that are valuable to users everywhere, such as Nanogold® with electron cryotomography to visualize membrane proteins at the molecular level, and improved gold enhancement –or completely new methods, like a silver enhancement procedure that works at -50°C entirely in acetone for use in HPF/FSF labeling.

Dr. He has now established his own laboratory in the prestigious National Institute of Biological Sciences (NIBS) in Beijing, China, where he will continue to develop electron cryotomographic methods. We wish him the best and hope our reagents continue to play a part in this exciting work.

Dr. Wanzhong He at NIBS
Dr. Wanzhong He at NIBS, where he is establishing a new lab and EM cryotomography facility. (Photo courtesy Dr. Wanzhong He, NIBS)

Precisely locating the individual protein in the cellular context has been a big challenge in electron microscopy.

Struggling for quite a while, eventually I figured out that covalently conjugating ligand with 1.4nm Nanogold® in combination with gold enhancement techniques helped us tracing the precise ligand-receptor pathways, successfully with the emerging cellular electron tomography.

Nanogold® is a wonderful EM label
for both in vitro and in vivo systems."

--Dr. Wanzhong He, NIBS



  1. He, W.; Ladinsky, M. S.; Huey-Tubman, K. E.; Jensen, G. J.; McIntosh, J. R., and Björkman P. J.: FcRn-mediated antibody transport across epithelial cells revealed by electron tomography. Nature, 455, 542-546 (2008).
  2. He, W.; Jensen, G. J., and Björkman, P. J.: Nanogold as a Specific Marker for Electron Cryotomography. Microsc. Microanal., 15, 183-188 (2009).
    • Abstract from Cambridge University Press
  3. Morphew, M.; He, W.; Bjorkman, P. J., and McIntosh, J. R.: Silver enhancement of Nanogold particles during freeze substitution for electron microscopy. J. Microsc., 230, 263-267 (2008).
  4. He, W.; Kivork, C.; Machinani, S.; Morphew, M. K.; Gail, A. M.; Tesar, D. B.; Tiangco, N. E.; McIntosh, J. R.; and Bjorkman, P. J.: A freeze substitution fixation-based gold enlarging technique for EM studies of endocytosed Nanogold-labeled molecules. J. Struct. Biol., 160, 103-113 (2007).


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