Urinary crystals can be identified by using analytical electron microscopic techniques of scanning electron microscopy and energy dispersive x-ray microanalysis. Crystal habit can be recognised by scanning electron microscopy and their chemical nature by elemental analysis. With a conventional detector the lightest element that can routinely be detected is sodium, but with a windowless or thin window detector even carbon can be detected. Thus almost all the commonly occurring urinary crystals including uric acid can be analysed by energy dispersive x-ray microanalysis.
Khan, Saeed R. and Hackett, Raymond L.
"Role of Scanning Electron Microscopy and X-Ray Microanalysis in the Identification of Urinary Crystals,"
Scanning Microscopy: Vol. 1
, Article 54.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.usu.edu/microscopy/vol1/iss3/54