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1.
Ultramicroscopy ; 209: 112883, 2020 Feb.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31739191

RESUMO

Cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) has become the method of choice in the field of structural biology, owing to its unique ability to deduce structures of vitreous ice-embedded, hydrated biomolecules over a wide range of structural resolutions. As cryo-transmission electron microscopes (cryo-TEM) become increasingly specialised for high, near-atomic resolution studies, operational complexity and associated costs serve as significant barriers to widespread usability and adoptability. To facilitate the expansion and accessibility of the cryo-EM method, an efficient, user-friendly means of imaging vitreous ice-embedded biomolecules has been called for. In this study, we present a solution to this issue by integrating cryo-EM capabilities into a commercial scanning electron microscope (SEM). Utilising the principle of low-energy in-line electron holography, our newly developed hybrid microscope permits low-to-moderate resolution imaging of vitreous ice-embedded biomolecules without the need for any form of sample staining or chemical fixation. Operating at 20 kV, the microscope takes advantage of the ease-of-use of SEM-based imaging and phase contrast imaging of low-energy electron holography. This study represents the first reported successful application of low-energy in-line electron holographic imaging to vitreous ice-embedded small biomolecules, the effectiveness of which is demonstrated here with three morphologically distinct specimens.

2.
J Struct Biol ; 204(1): 75-79, 2018 10.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30030043

RESUMO

For many macromolecular complexes, the inability to uniformly disperse solubilized specimen particles within vitreous ice films precludes their analysis by cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM). Here, we introduce a sample preparation process using "perpetually-hydrated" graphene oxide flakes as particle support films, and report vastly improved specimen dispersion. The new method introduced in this study incorporates hydrated graphene oxide flakes into a standard sample preparation regime, without the need for additional tools or devices, making it a cost-effective and easily adoptable alternative to currently available sample preparation approaches.


Assuntos
Microscopia Crioeletrônica/métodos , Grafite/química , Manejo de Espécimes/métodos
3.
Ultramicroscopy ; 188: 31-40, 2018 05.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29544194

RESUMO

A new SEM-based in-line electron holography microscope has been under development. The microscope utilizes conventional SEM and BF-STEM functionality to allow for rapid searching of the specimen of interest, seamless interchange between SEM, BF-STEM and holographic imaging modes, and makes use of coherent low-energy in-line electron holography to obtain low-dose, high-contrast images of light element materials. We report here an overview of the instrumentation and first experimental results on gold nano-particles and carbon nano-fibers for system performance tests. Reconstructed images obtained from the holographic imaging mode of the new microscope show substantial image contrast and resolution compared to those acquired by SEM and BF-STEM modes, demonstrating the feasibility of high-contrast imaging via low-energy in-line electron holography. The prospect of utilizing the new microscope to image purified biological specimens at the individual particle level is discussed and electron optical issues and challenges to further improve resolution and contrast are considered.

4.
J Struct Biol ; 2018 Mar 15.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29551713

RESUMO

For many macromolecular complexes, the inability to uniformly disperse solubilized specimen particles within vitreous ice films precludes their analysis by cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM). Here, we introduce a sample preparation process using "perpetually-hydrated" graphene oxide flakes as particle support films, and report vastly improved specimen dispersion. Furthermore, we provide evidence that the presence of graphene oxide flakes in vitreous ice results in a significant reduction in electron beam-induced specimen decomposition. The new method introduced in this study incorporates hydrated graphene oxide flakes into a standard sample preparation regime, without the need for additional tools or devices, making it a cost-effective and easily adoptable alternative to currently available sample preparation approaches.

5.
PLoS One ; 12(11): e0186899, 2017.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29099843

RESUMO

We have performed open cell transmission electron microscopy experiments through pure water vapor in the saturation pressure regime (>0.6 kPa), in a modern microscope capable of sub-Å resolution. We have systematically studied achievable pressure levels, stability and gas purity, effective thickness of the water vapor column and associated electron scattering processes, and the effect of gas pressure on electron optical resolution and image contrast. For example, for 1.3 kPa pure water vapor and 300kV electrons, we report pressure stability of ± 20 Pa over tens of minutes, effective thickness of 0.57 inelastic mean free paths, lattice resolution of 0.14 nm on a reference Au specimen, and no significant degradation in contrast or stability of a biological specimen (M13 virus, with 6 nm body diameter). We have also done some brief experiments to confirm feasibility of loading specimens into an in situ water vapor ambient without exposure to intermediate desiccating conditions. Finally, we have also checked if water experiments had any discernible impact on the microscope performance, and report pertinent vacuum and electron optical data, for reference purposes.


Assuntos
Microscopia Eletrônica de Transmissão/métodos , Água/química
6.
Microscopy (Oxf) ; 66(4): 261-271, 2017 Aug 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28453814

RESUMO

The scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) mode of today's field emission scanning electron microscopes enables sub-nanometer resolution imaging. Graphene is a single-atom thick, electrically conductive material, making it an excellent specimen support for the low voltage STEM imaging of nanometer-sized objects such as viruses. Here we present low voltage STEM images of bacteriophage T4 recorded on highly cleaned graphene films. The results show that ultrathin graphene support films markedly improve image signal at low accelerating voltages. Staining with a low atomic number methylamine vanadate stain combined with the graphene support film enables the clear visualization of the fine structure of the T4 tail by the low voltage STEM technique. Despite the advantages of graphene support films, difficulties are often encountered in placing hydrophilic biological samples on hydrophobic graphene electron microscopy grids. We employed a spin sedimentation sample loading method to overcome this problem.

7.
Opt Express ; 19(1): 317-24, 2011 Jan 03.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-21263571

RESUMO

The 13th harmonic of a Ti:sapphire (Ti:S) laser in the plateau region was injected as a seeding source to a 250-MeV free-electron-laser (FEL) amplifier. When the amplification conditions were fulfilled, strong enhancement of the radiation intensity by a factor of 650 was observed. The random and uncontrollable spikes, which appeared in the spectra of the Self-Amplified Spontaneous Emission (SASE) based FEL radiation without the seeding source, were found to be suppressed drastically to form to a narrow-band, single peak profile at 61.2 nm. The properties of the seeded FEL radiation were well reproduced by numerical simulations. We discuss the future precept of the seeded FEL scheme to the shorter wavelength region.

8.
Phys Rev E Stat Nonlin Soft Matter Phys ; 78(4 Pt 1): 041906, 2008 Oct.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-18999454

RESUMO

The number of photons produced by coherent x-ray scattering from a single biomolecule is very small because of its extremely small elastic-scattering cross section and low damage threshold. Even with a high x-ray flux of 3 x 10;{12} photons per 100-nm -diameter spot and an ultrashort pulse of 10 fs driven by a future x-ray free electron laser (x-ray FEL), it has been predicted that only a few 100 photons will be produced from the scattering of a single lysozyme molecule. In observations of scattered x rays on a detector, the transfer of energy from wave to matter is accompanied by the quantization of the photon energy. Unfortunately, x rays have a high photon energy of 12 keV at wavelengths of 1A , which is required for atomic resolution imaging. Therefore, the number of photoionization events is small, which limits the resolution of imaging of a single biomolecule. In this paper, I propose a method: instead of directly observing the photons scattered from the sample, we amplify the scattered waves by superimposing an intense coherent reference pump wave on it and record the resulting interference pattern on a planar x-ray detector. Using a nanosized gold particle as a reference pump wave source, we can collect 10;{4}-10;{5} photons in single shot imaging where the signal from a single biomolecule is amplified and recorded as two-dimensional diffraction intensity data. An iterative phase retrieval technique can be used to recover the phase information and reconstruct the image of the single biomolecule and the gold particle at the same time. In order to precisely reconstruct a faint image of the single biomolecule in Angstrom resolution, whose intensity is much lower than that of the bright gold particle, I propose a technique that combines iterative phase retrieval on the reference pump wave and the digital Fourier transform holography on the sample. By using a large number of holography data, the three-dimensional electron density map can be assembled.


Assuntos
Muramidase/química , Ouro/química , Nanopartículas Metálicas , Muramidase/ultraestrutura , Fótons , Espalhamento de Radiação , Raios X
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