Electron Microscopy

Structural Biology with Electron Microscopy

Cryo-electron microscopy for native high resolution structural biology.


Cutting-edge structural biology research requires that molecular mechanisms are studied at conditions that mirror, as closely as possible, the functional in vivo state of the molecules. Until recently, researchers relied on X-ray crystallography for structural determination, but these samples are, by definition, taken out of their native environment during crystallization. Not only that, but crystallization is time-consuming, and the technique is not suitable for all samples because some proteins do not crystallize. (Large protein complexes in particular, despite providing great insight into native function, have been difficult to stabilize and crystallize.) To observe structures as close as possible to their native state, preservation and observations under cryo conditions is mandatory. This is done through cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM).

With cryo-EM, structural biologists can not only study proteins and viruses in their biologically relevant forms, but they can also determine how these samples interact with other marker molecules or compounds. Size, complexity, and flexibility are no longer roadblocks towards high-resolution structural characterization.

Cryo EM plot showing the potential protein structures enabled by the technique. Plot of protein structures currently found in the PDB versus their complexity. Cryo electron microscopy has the potential to unlock a new range of structural insight for larger, more complex systems.

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Samples


Proteins Analysis

Cryo-electron microscopy provides near-atomic resolution 3D protein structure. It can determine structural information for complexes and crystallization-resistant samples, as well as vital cellular context.

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Biopharmaceutical Research

Structural drug discovery is enabled by cryo-electron microscopy, as the method provides near-atomic-resolution detail for small molecules and protein biologics in their fully hydrated state.

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Virus Analysis

Cryo-EM enables the 3D structural visualization of virus particles, and the antigen-antibody interface, at near-atomic resolutions. A virus’s inherent structural symmetry makes it the ideal target for cryo-EM analysis.

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Techniques

Single Particle Analysis

Single particle analysis (SPA) is a cryo-electron microscopy technique that enables structural characterization at near-atomic resolutions, unraveling dynamic biological processes and the structure of biomolecular complexes/assemblies.

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Cryo-Tomography

Cryo-electron tomography (cryo-ET) delivers both structural information about individual proteins as well as their spatial arrangements within the cell. This makes it a truly unique technique and also explains why the method has such an enormous potential for cell biology. Cryo-ET can bridge the gap between light microscopy and near-atomic-resolution techniques like single-particle analysis.

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MicroED

MicroED is an exciting new technique with applications in the structural determination of small molecules and protein. With this method, atomic details can be extracted from individual nanocrystals (<200 nm in size), even in a heterogeneous mixture.

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Integrative Structural Biology

To understand protein function, you need complex and structure information beyond individual proteins. Integrative structural biology combines mass spectrometry and cryo EM for the determination of large dynamic complex structure.

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Single Particle Analysis

Single particle analysis (SPA) is a cryo-electron microscopy technique that enables structural characterization at near-atomic resolutions, unraveling dynamic biological processes and the structure of biomolecular complexes/assemblies.

Learn more ›

Cryo-Tomography

Cryo-electron tomography (cryo-ET) delivers both structural information about individual proteins as well as their spatial arrangements within the cell. This makes it a truly unique technique and also explains why the method has such an enormous potential for cell biology. Cryo-ET can bridge the gap between light microscopy and near-atomic-resolution techniques like single-particle analysis.

Learn more ›

MicroED

MicroED is an exciting new technique with applications in the structural determination of small molecules and protein. With this method, atomic details can be extracted from individual nanocrystals (<200 nm in size), even in a heterogeneous mixture.

Learn more ›

Integrative Structural Biology

To understand protein function, you need complex and structure information beyond individual proteins. Integrative structural biology combines mass spectrometry and cryo EM for the determination of large dynamic complex structure.

Learn more ›

Products

Style Sheet for Instrument Cards Original

Krios Rx Cryo-TEM

  • Industry leading productivity and ease of use
  • Fixed 300 kV voltage for SPA only
  • Pharma-dedicated service package for guaranteed reliability

Krios G4 Cryo-TEM

  • Improved ergonomics
  • Fits more easily into new and existing labs
  • Maximized productivity and automation
  • Best image quality for high-resolution 3D reconstruction

Glacios Cryo-TEM

  • Flexible Accelerating Voltage 80-200 kV
  • Industry-leading Autoloader for cryogenic sample manipulation
  • Small footprint
  • Enhanced ease-of-use

Tundra Cryo-TEM

  • Structural information at biologically relevant resolution
  • Space efficient and cost effective
  • Easy, iterative sample optimization
  • Unique AI algorithms for streamlined data collection

Talos Arctica TEM

  • Increased data acquisition speed
  • High data with robotic sample handling & automated loading
  • Unattended platform operation and automated data acquisition
  • Low cost of ownership with remote diagnostics and preventive service

Vitrobot System

  • Fully Automated Sample vitrification
  • Blotting Device
  • Semi-Automated Grid Transfer
  • High Sample Throughput

Selectris and Selectris X Imaging Filters

  • Designed for high stability and atomic resolution imaging
  • Straightforward operation
  • Paired with the latest generation Thermo Scientific Falcon 4 Direct Electron Detector

Falcon 4 Detector

  • Leading detective quantum efficiency
  • 10x shorter exposure time than its predecessor
  • Fully embedded in Thermo Scientific software
  • Built in data management

Tomography 5
Software

  • Automated multi-site batch tomography
  • Automatic cassette mapping
  • Dose symmetric tilt scheme for optimal electron dose
  • Fully integrated with Selectris Imaging Filters

EPU 2 Software

  • Microscope-embedded solution for single particle acquisition
  • Optimized for high-throughput particle collection
  • Compatible with film, CCD cameras, and direct electron detectors

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