Single particle electron cryo-microscopy (Cryo-EM) is a powerful technique to determine the structures of protein complexes down to atomic resolution. The sample in solution is flash-frozen in liquid ethane, forming a thin layer of vitreous ice, in which the sample particles are ideally evenly distributed in random orientation far enough from the air-water interface (Figure 1).
Figure 1: Schematic cross section of a grid hole with ideally distributed single particles in random orientation
Protein sample vitrification for Cryo-EM is still a major bottleneck. Only the combination of choosing the right grid type, vitrification conditions, protein concentration and additives enables high quality data acquisition in Cryo-EM.
The Cryo-EM V-Kit offers both a selection of surfactants and cryoprotectants which have been successfully applied in Cryo-EM sample preparation and a selection of Quantifoil® Holey Carbon Films to facilitate the search for the optimal vitrification condition for both soluble and membrane proteins.
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 Russo et al. (2014) Ultrastable gold substrates for electron cryomicroscopy. Science 346:1377.