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Negative Stains for Electron Microscopy (EM)

Updated: January 5, 2022


  • NanoVan® - based on Vanadium
    Buy nowFor Nanogold® or anywhere a low atomic number light stain is needed .
  • Nano-W® - based on an Organotungsten compound
    High density, high contrast.
  • Uniform, electron-dense stain for EM
  • Dries without crystallization; perfect for EM grids
  • Visualize with ease:
    • edges of protein complexes
    • macromolecules
    • cells in suspension
  • Better than positive stains like osmium tetroxide:
    Won't obscure labeling of biological structures


Buy nowNanoVan® (Methylamine Vanadate)

NanoVan® (methylamine vanadate) is based on vanadium, which has a lower atomic number (23) than other elements commonly used as negative stain reagents such as uranium (92) or tungsten (74). NanoVan® is recommended for samples labeled with Nanogold®, since it does not obscure visibility of the small 1.4 nm gold as do the higher atomic number stains. It may also be used in other standard negative stain work since it has excellent staining properties (see: Tracz, E., et. al.: Brain Res., 773, 33-44 (1997)).

Features of NanoVan®

  • Produces a light, very uniform negative stain for high-resolution fine structure visualization.
  • Stable, non-volatile in the electron beam, more resistant than uranyl acetate.
  • Does not denature protein samples.
  • Excellent spreading properties.
  • Near-neutral pH of 8.
  • Supplied ready-to-use as a 2 % solution in water.
  • Permits visualization of Nanogold®.


Buy nowNano-W® (Methylamine Tungstate)

Nano-W® (methylamine tungstate) is a negative stain based on an organotungsten compound. It has excellent spreading qualities and a high density for high contrast. It may be mixed with the lower atomic number NanoVan® to produce intermediate stain densities. It has a pH of 6.8.

For some images of negatively stained virus particles and more information on the technique in general, see Linda Stannard's Virus ultrastructure pages (University of Cape Town).


Price List:
Negative Stains

Custom conjugation is also available, of Nanogold®, FluoroNanogold, undecagold
or colloidal gold to primary antibodies, peptides, small molecules, or other molecules.
(Methylamine Vanadate)

A 2% Vanadium negative stain recommended for use with Nanogold® or other applications where a low atomic number light stain is needed.

5 ml


Code (Optional)

(Methylamine Tungstate)

A 2% negative stain based on an organotungsten compound. High density, high contrast.

5 ml


Code (Optional)

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