Cryo-EM Materials Advancement Can Help In Biomedical And Cancer Studies – Market News Wire 24
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Cryo-EM Materials Advancement Can Help In Biomedical And Cancer Studies

Cryogenic electron microscopy (Cryo-EM) has revolutionized medical research, but the substrate used to freeze and visualize samples under a microscope has not progressed for decades. Today, thanks to the collaboration between Penn State researchers and the company of applied science, Protochips.

“The nature of the traditional network has not changed much since the foundation of cryogenics, while material science has changed dramatically,” said Deb Kelly, director of the Center for Structural Oncology (CSO) and professor of biomedical technology at Penn State. “Our team, with other researchers in the area, came up with the thought of trying new materials to perk up existing practices.”

Issues with traditional perforated carbon grids include patchy surfaces when ice is formed on the grid, which requires numerous adjustments to the imaging routines; grid materials expand at dissimilar thermal speeds and the failure of the samples to turn over through the grid openings, often wasting limited samples.

“Setting only initial reconciliation parameters helps save time for data collection,” says assistant research professor at CSO, Cameron Varano. “Protochips substrates are made of silicon nitride, a material that is stiffer than carbon grids, making them less prone to local deformations. And the wells in the chips can be adjusted for different thicknesses of ice and applications.”

In the article entitled Klein entitled “Cryo-EM-on-a-Chip: Substrates Under Measurement for 3D Analysis of Macromolecules,” the team shortlisted three case studies in which such an image could be useful. The first study was a comparison between the perforated carbon network and the Cryo chip using the standard rotavirus particle model in the Cryo-EM studies owing to its large size and symmetrical shape. They found greater contrast with the Cryo-Chip substrate, as well as more sample retention in tuned wells.

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