Scanning Microscopy


Structural and compositional analysis of isolated horse-spleen ferritin particles was performed by energy filtering transmission electron microscopy (EFTEM). Ferritin particles were collected in ultrathin (2 nm thick) chromium films and analyzed without any additional stain by electron energy-loss spectroscopy (EELS) for iron and carbon and by electron-spectroscopic imaging (ESI) for carbon. The ultrastructure of the proteinaceous shell of the ferritin particle, as obtained by the carbon net-intensity electron spectroscopical and carbon concentration-distribution images, was qualitatively compared to the structure as acquired by a negative-staining procedure.

Quantitative analysis of the number of carbon atoms in the ferritin-shell proteins was carried out through an ESI-acquisition protocol and processing procedure with calibrated attenuation filters in the optical path to the TV camera. This procedure included images acquired with calibrated attenuation filters for the compensation of shading and the non-linear performance of the TV camera used in the analytical part of the procedure. A new "ESI-Spectra" program is proposed that allows element-related spectra to be generated at any place and with any frame size in a contrast-sensitive or other type of image present on the computer monitor screen.

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