Services & Training

If you are interested in using the Cryo-EM Resource, please contact Gaya Yadav

If you are interested in using the Cryo-EM Resource, please register to attend the Grand Opening Symposium on Dec. 3.

To unveil the resource and show how faculty, staff, students and industry researchers can utilize it, the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics has organized a free, full-day symposium on Saturday, Dec. 3 in the Biochemistry and Biophysics Building in College Station.

BCBP Cryo-EM Research Center Grand Opening Symposium

Saturday, December 3, 2022
Seminar 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Location, BCBP Rm. 108
Hosted by: Dr. Gaya P. Yadav (Cryco-EM Technical Director) & Dr. Junjie Zhang (Cryo-EM Faculty Director)

Sample Preparation

The BCBP cryo-EM team can offer advice to help you in sample preparation for successful cryo-EM studies. Our staff has expertise in the preparation of both soluble as well as membrane proteins, preparation of nanodiscs, and peptidiscs for the difficult-to-vitrify membrane proteins and will be able to provide help in moving your projects faster.

Our recommendations for protein samples to increase the chance of success in cryo-EM are:

  • Amount of protein – 50 -100 microliters of protein at 0.5 – 5.0 mg/ml
  • Molecular weight of protein – Lower limit: ~50-60 kDa.
  • A single clear band in Coomassie-blue stained SDS-PAGE (recommended).
  • A sharp peak in a suitable SEC column and/or uniformed size in dynamic light scattering, MALS or mass-photometry.

Sample Vitrification

Your samples will be vitrified on a grid of the user’s choice (Quantifoil or C-flat, gold or copper, with or without support such as 2nm thick carbon film or suspended monolayer graphene) using a Vitrobot Mark IV (a semi-automatic plunger) in a humidity-controlled room. Grids will be prepared under different conditions (blotting time, sample concentration, and/or plunging force) to assess the best conditions for data collection.

Grid Screening

Grids will be screened using a Krios cryo-electron microscope equipped with a Gatan K3 Direct Electron Detector to ensure that single-particle studies, cryo-ET, or microcrystal electron diffraction can be conducted optimally. Areas on grids will be prioritized for full high-resolution data collection. For single particle analysis, we will determine grid properties including ice thickness, particle density, and particle distribution. Grid screening can be combined with overnight data collection.

Data Analysis and Structural Analysis

Our expertise in cryo-EM services can help users in analyzing their data using cisTEM, RELION, and or cryoSPARC and determine structures.

Cryo-ET Data Collection

Our Krios G4 cryo-TEM is equipped with the Gatan K3 camera loaded with a Gatan Imaging Filter (GIF) to provide best-in-class cryo-electron tomography data.

Screening of Crystals, Micro-ED Data Collection, and Structure Determination

Our Krios G4 cryo-TEM is equipped with the Thermo Scientific CETA-D Camera, and Thermo Scientific EPU-D™ software for screening micro-crystals, and automated data acquisition. Our expert team can analyze the data and perform the structural determination.