The first Interdisciplinary Training Webinar covers the following topics:
– dose problem in electron microscopy
– cryomicroscopy sample preparation
– protein structure determination in microbiology
– cryomicroscopy imaging
– computer-assisted structural reconstruction
– phase plate use in cryomicroscopy.
The webinar provides other scientists with an introduction to the techniques and applications of cryomicroscopy to the study of biological systems. Cryomicroscopy is done in a specially modified transmission electron microscope, which allows the quick transfer of specially frozen samples into the microscope column, and their subsequent imaging.
The talk explains the use of Volta phase plates, which allow one to convert the phase variation that the sample imparts to the electron beam into an amplitude variation, which is directly observable as an image. The webinar also illustrates the equipment and techniques that are used in order to prepare and then flash-freeze the liquid solution containing the molecules that are to be studied in the cryo electron microscope. It is important that the solution ends up as vitrified ice, as the amorphous structure of such glass-like ice greatly aids the imaging of the molecules.
The talk also highlights molecules and systems of interest, as well as problems that could be addressed by improving physical techniques.
The chief aim of this webinar is to function as primer on cryoTEM. It also aims to initiate the transfer of knowledge from biochemists specialised in cryomicroscopy to the physicists community of Q-SORT, as well as to the physics community at large.