The IBMB cryoEM Platform has acquired a Thermo Scientific Glacios Cryo Transmission Electron Microscope equipped with the last generation Direct Electron Detector Falcon 4. It features 200 kV XFEG optics, the industry-leading Autoloader (cryogenic sample manipulation robot), and the same innovative automation for ease of use as on the Krios G4 Cryo-TEM. This equipment will be hosted in the ALBA synchrotron. This acquisition will be possible thanks to the funding from ERDF, which provides half of the cost of the microscope (around 850.000 €). The IBMB-CSIC and the ALBA Synchrotron, as well as to the contributions of the Institute for Biomedical Research (IRB Barcelona), the CSIC, the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG), the UAB and the BIST provides the rest of the money.
The Glacios is a 200 kV, FEG Cryo Transmission Electron Microscope (Cryo-TEM), which can be configured for Single Particle Analysis (SPA) high-resolution data acquisition and sample quality assessment, Tomography, and other applications. Its high level of automation and user guidance of experimental settings enable scientists to efficiently unravel protein structures in 3D, as well as understand their functional context in the biological cell. The microscope will be equipped with the last generation detector Falcon 4. This detector is Thermo Fisher Scientific’s next-generation camera system for direct electron detection. A new chip architecture based on the proven, large (14 μm) pixel design of the Thermo Scientific Falcon product range enables an increased internal framerate (250 fps) and improved electron localization while maintaining the unsurpassed, low noise levels of the previous generation. This results in a camera that has an improved (electron counting) DQE over the entire spatial frequency range at effectively 10x shorter exposure times than the previous generation.
Additionally, the cryo-EM platform will be equipped with a vitrification robot called Vitrobot. The Vitrobot is a fully PC-controlled device for vitrification (rapid cooling) of aqueous samples. The process of plunging, blotting and vitrification is fully automated upon placing a vial in the chamber and setting up the liquid coolant container. Operational parameters are reproducible and the result is strictly PC controlled, enabling a high throughput of vitrified samples, with an easy and straightforward control of the vitrification process.