To apply the method of quantitative electron microscopy to the measurement of mass in thin sections, the thickness of the section at or very near the structure to be studied must be known. Dowex anion exchange resin AG 1 x 2, stained with phosphotungstic acid (PTA) at pH 6.4, was used as a thickness standard which could be embedded and sectioned. The sectioned PTA-Dowex appeared uniformly stained and exhibited suitable electron opacity. The stoichiometry of the reaction between PTA and the Dowex resin was measured by three independent methods based on gravimetric, colorimetric, and nitrogen determinations whose results showed close agreement. From the PTA uptake, the density of the stained spheres was calculated. Mass of a defined area of PTA-Dowex was measured by quantitative electron microscopy, and from this mass and density, the volume and then the thickness were calculated. The values for thickness were compared to those obtained by interference microscopy on the embedding medium alone in the same sections.

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