Understanding the invisible hands of sample preparation for cryo-EM

Giulia Weissenberger, Rene J. M. Henderikx, Peter J. Peters*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

18 Citations (Web of Science)
25 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) is rapidly becoming an attractive method in the field of structural biology. With the exploding popularity of cryo-EM, sample preparation must evolve to prevent congestion in the workflow. The dire need for improved microscopy samples has led to a diversification of methods. This Review aims to categorize and explain the principles behind various techniques in the preparation of vitrified samples for the electron microscope. Various aspects and challenges in the workflow are discussed, from sample optimization and carriers to deposition and vitrification. Reliable and versatile specimen preparation remains a challenge, and we hope to give guidelines and posit future directions for improvement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)463-471
Number of pages9
JournalNature Methods
Volume18
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2021

Keywords

  • CRYOELECTRON MICROSCOPY
  • GRID PREPARATION
  • MACROMOLECULAR COMPLEXES
  • VITRIFICATION SYSTEM
  • STRUCTURAL BIOLOGY
  • RESOLUTION
  • SPECIMEN
  • TOMOGRAPHY
  • ACTIVATION
  • DENSITY

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