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Silver Enhancement Kits for EM and LM: Autometallography

Updated: January 5, 2022


  • Buy nowHQ Silver
    Highest quality, best for EM; uniform development, excellent structural preservation
  • LI Silver
    Light insensitive, simple and convenient enhancer for EM, LM, and blots
  • Visualize even small gold particles
    like Nanogold®
  • Enlarge up to 30 to 100 nm in size
  • Greatly enhanced visiblity in EM
  • Dark staining in the light microscope
  • Ultrasensitive visualization of antigens
    on blots and in gels
Use to Enhance:
How it works: Metal particles can nucleate the highly specific deposition of silver from an appropriate silver salt solution in the presence of a suitable reducing agent. The silver coated gold particle then catalyzes more silver deposition and the silver grains grow in size.


HQ Silver

Unique formulation for the best possible results with Nanogold® in critical applications, particularly in the electron microscope. Slightly light sensitive: should be used in indirect light or with a SafeLight (For a comparison with other silver enhancers, see: Humbel, B. M., et al.: J. Histochem. Cytochem., 43, 735-737 (1995). For uses, see: Baude, A., et al.: Neuroscience, 69, 1031-1055 (1997)).

  • Neutral pH for excellent preservation of structural integrity.
  • Protective thickening agent for the most uniform, reproducible particle size distribution.
  • Low background.
  • Compatible with all immunogold reagents.
  • Best for electron microscopy.

Pre-embedding Nanogold® labeling
with HQ Silver enhancement

LI Silver

Convenient and simple for EM, light microscopy or immunoblots, gels and Westerns. Ideal for use with Nanogold® reagents.

  • High contrast signal for easy light microscope and immunoblot visibility.
  • Lower background than other commercial developers.
  • High sensitivity.
  • Light Insensitive: observe development under normal lighting.
  • Slow development (10-30 minutes) for precise monitoring.
  • Compatible with all immunogold reagents.
  • Best for light microscopy, gels and blots.

Detection of Nanogold®-labeled molecules
on gels and blots with LI Silver

[Silver enhancement] (23 k)


Buy nowApplications


In electron microscopy the 1.4 nm Nanogold® develops to round grains that are more variable in size when < 20 nm. The development then slows, and the smaller grains "catch up." At 80 nm, all silver grains from the 1.4 nm Nanogold® are quite uniform. With HQ Silver, this occurs after about a 3 minute development period, or with LI Silver after ^7 minutes. In the light microscope, superior penetration, low backgrounds, and ultrasensitive staining may be realized with Nanogold® reagents and LI Silver.

Protocol: Pre-embedding Nanogold® labeling with HQ Silver enhancement

Immunoblots, Polyacrylamide Gels, Westerns and Nucleic Acid Detection:

Immunogold with silver enhancement provides simple, robust and permanent record assays with super sensitivity. Nanogold® can be grown in a reasonably controlled and uniform manner to produce particles ^2 to >100 nm in size with silver development times of ^30 seconds to ^30 minutes. The smaller sizes are excellent for EM work whereas the intermediate sizes are useful for light and confocal microscopy. The largest sizes provide ultrasensitive visualization with the naked eye and are useful in immunoblots, gels and Westerns.

Immunoblot with Nanogold®
and LI Silver Enhancement
[Blot on the Landscape...] (33k)

Nanogold®-anti-mouse Fab' blotted against mouse IgG, developed with LI Silver (Nanoprobes). These ultra small gold particles nucleate silver deposition so well that unprecedented sensitivity is achieved. This immunodot blot shows 0.1 pg sensitivity (arrow).



Gel Staining for Nanogold®-Labeled Bands

After a protein or other molecule is labeled with Nanogold®, it may be run on a polyacrylamide gel. Subsequently, it may be developed with LI Silver to specifically stain the gold-containing bands. The process is rapid, sensitive and selective, only taking a few minutes for dense staining to develop. It also works on transfer blots. This may be used to distinguish which components are labeled with Nanogold® (References).

Protocol: Detection of Nanogold®-labeled molecules on gels and blots with LI Silver


Price List:
Silver Enhancers

Silver enhancers are shipped refrigerated; please let us know where we'll be shipping
so that we can apply the appropriate shipping to your shopping cart.

HQ Silver
Highest quality enhancer for Nanogold®, giving uniform development and excellent structural preservation. especially for EM; light sensitive. Initiator/Moderator/ Activator:
15 mL of each
(45 mL total)
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LI Silver
A convenient silver enhancer for Nanogold® for EM, LM, gels and blots; light insensitive. Initiator/Enhancer:
125 mL of each
(250 mL total)
Shipping Destination:


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