Gold particles in colloidal solutions often vary considerably in size. The finest sols (diameter less than 15 nm), especially, are very heterogeneous, as is indicated by coefficients of variance (CV) of 25-35%. We have complexed staphylococcal protein A with gold particles (PA/Au) and then fractionated the preparations by glycerol or sucrose gradient centrifugation into very homogeneous subfractions. In this way, PA/Au probes of almost any size between 4.5 and 15 nm could be prepared. The variation of the gold particles in these fractions resulted in CV's between 9 and 16%. The reactivity of the PA/Au complex was not affected by the gradient procedure, as was shown by single- and double-labeling immunocytochemistry of ultrathin cryosections of rat pancreatic tissue.

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