Imaging and reconstruction of developing neurons require cells that are labeled in a way that distinguishes them from their neighbors. This can be achieved with ballistic labeling, which refers to the delivery of a cell label by means of carrier particles (tungsten or gold) propelled from a pressurized gun. Ballistic delivery can reach many dispersed cells in one shot and can deploy a wide variety of cell markers to neurons in diverse preparations. The three most commonly used types of ballistic labels are carbocyanine dyes, dextran-conjugated fluorescent markers, and DNA plasmids. The primary advantage of ballistic labeling is that multiple dispersed cells can be labeled quickly in live or fixed tissue. This article describes a protocol for coating gold particles with plasmid DNA, which can be used to label developing ganglion cells in retinal flat mounts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)114-117
Number of pages4
JournalCold Spring Harbor Protocols
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012


Dive into the research topics of 'Coating gold particles with DNA (biolistics)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this