Electron microscopy has become incredibly successful in protein structural biology in the last fifteen years mainly due to an astonishing improvement in many of its key processes : sample preparation, new detectors and software development for image analysis and structure resolution. All together, they have produced the so called “resolution revolution” and many of the previously inaccessible projects for electron microscopy have become reachable for at least one of the many technique flavors, like single particle cryo-em, cryo-electron tomography, cryofib-sem or most lately microcrystal electron diffraction (MicroED). MicroED allows structural biologists involved in X-ray crystallography projects going a step further and analyze nanocrystals, often obtained in crystallization experiments, that are not suitable for monocrystal X-ray diffraction experiments. It is also a perfect approach to solve small molecule structures, even in complex samples containing crystals of different compounds that for sure will boost the drug discovery field. The Cryo-Electron Microscopy Facility at the National Centre for Biotechnology in Madrid will shortly add MicroED to the already wide catalog of Electron Microscopy techniques available for the Spanish and international scientific community, becoming a key complement in structural biology projects completion.
Published on December 13, 2021