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 (pictured below).
However, protein sample vitrification for cryo-EM is 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 is a Vitrification Starter Kit that offers both a selection of surfactants 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.
Schematic cross section of a grid hole with ideally distributed single particles in random orientation