SPONSORED ARTICLE: Cryo-electron tomography: nanoscale imaging of biomolecules in the context of cellular structures

Structural biologists have made great progress in discovering the structures of individual proteins and protein complexes.


Much of the recent progress has resulted from advances in cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM), especially single-particle analysis, which has made the elucidation of near-atomic-scale structures for small to large proteins and protein complexes almost routine. The ultimate goal is to derive the structures of the molecular machines that constitute all living systems in their natural, functional contexts, where their interactions with other components can be observed. Studying the molecular machinery of cells from atomic detail to the cellular context and beyond is a great challenge for cell biology.

In order for this to be accomplished, a comprehensive workflow has been developed. This workflow covers vitrification, cryo-fluorescence microscopy, targeted sample thinning by focused ion beam microscopy, and high resolution cryo-electron tomography (Cryo-ET)

The Thermo Scientific Aquilos™ is the first dedicated cryo-FIB/SEM (focused ion beam/scanning electron microscope) DualBeamTM system for the preparation of thin vitrified lamella samples from biological specimens for high-resolution tomographic imaging in a cryo-transmission electron microscope (cryo-TEM). The workflow utilizes MapsTM software to enable correlative overlay of cryo-light microscopic data with cryo-FIB and cryo-TEM data. MapsTM software facilitates correlative identification of features of interest and subsequent targeting by cryo-FIB milling.

Imaging cellular ultrastructure at unprecedented resolution in 3D is possible while maintaining structural integrity to accelerate understanding of entire processes inside cells.

Please join us during our Life Science workshop on Tuesday July 2 at 14.00 PM to learn more about our latest development in cryo-electron tomography.



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