Cryo-electron Microscopy Analysis

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Cryo-electron Microscopy Analysis

When we explore the structure of biomolecules, we will face some difficulties:

  1. Biological samples are rich in water, and the working conditions of TEM are high vacuum;
  2. High-energy electron beams can seriously damage biological samples;
  3. Biological samples are mainly light elements such as C, O, N, and H. The reflection and scattering of electrons are similar to the background, and the obtained image contrast is very low;
  4. Protein molecules will drift, resulting in blurred images. After the long-term efforts of many scientists and constantly overcoming various difficulties, the development of cryo-electron microscopy technology has achieved high-resolution structural analysis of biomolecules in solution.

Cryo-electron microscopy, the full name Cryo-electron microscopy (Cryo-EM), refers to the rapid freezing of biological macromolecules, the use of transmission electron microscopy to image the sample in a low-temperature environment, and then image processing and reconstruction calculations Method of sample three-dimensional structure. Cryo-electron microscopy freezes and stabilizes fragile biomolecules to obtain near-atomic resolution imaging in their intrinsic state. In addition to life sciences, the development of cryo-electron microscopy in physical sciences enables higher-resolution characterization of sensitive materials for high-resolution electron microscopy, providing opportunities to understand the remaining important issues in materials science.

Some researchers have found that cryo-electron microscopy can be introduced into the study of sensitive battery materials and the fine structure of the interface. Cryo-EM can effectively perform high-resolution characterization of fragile and unstable battery materials, such as lithium silicon, sulfur, etc., and maintain their original state in real batteries. It overcomes the various problems of freezing samples of battery materials. Polymers and biomolecules have similar elemental composition, and are also easily damaged by the electron beam radiation of TEM. Recent advances in cryo-electron microscopy applied to flexible polymers include cryo-ET, 4D-STEM and STEM-EELS with monochromatic light sources. Electron tomography is often used to understand the 3D structure of flexible material systems, and the low-temperature sudden freezing of polymers can not only protect the sample from damage by the electron beam, but also maintain its natural state. Cryo-EM provides the possibility and opportunity for the high-resolution characterization of fragile materials that are sensitive to electron beams and the environment. The current new applications are mainly: batteries, flexible polymers, metal organic frameworks, perovskite solar cells, electrocatalysis and quantum material.

Matexcel provides you with professional Cryo-EM services, if you are interested, feel free to contact us.

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