Studying biological structures using electron ptychography

Authors: Angus Kirkland (University of Oxford)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Diamond Annual Review Highlight

State: Published (Approved)
Published: July 2021
Diamond Proposal Number(s): 19243 , 20431 , 20961 , 22317

Abstract: Cryo-electron microscopy (Cryo-EM) is an essential tool for obtaining high-resolution structural studies of biological systems. However, unstained biological samples are extremely sensitive to radiation and the images obtained have low contrast and low signal-to-noise ratios. There are techniques to overcome these limitations. However, it is more challenging to obtain high-resolution images for heterogeneous samples, specimens at low concentration, low symmetry structures and small or flexible molecules. An international team of researchers working at Diamond’s electron Physical Sciences Imaging Centre (ePSIC) set out to develop a new method for imaging biological structures using electrons. Ptychography is an alternative method based on scanning diffraction microscopy. It uses a probe to illuminate the sample and records a series of far-field diffraction patterns. The team demonstrated that this novel method is suitable for studies of many biologically important structures, including small molecules below a size that can be imaged using conventional Cryo-EM.

Journal Keywords: Cryo-electron microscopy; Electron ptychography; Rotavirus; HIV-1 virus like particles

Diamond Keywords: Viruses

Subject Areas: Physics, Biology and Bio-materials, Technique Development

Diamond Offline Facilities: Electron Physical Sciences Imaging Centre (ePSIC)
Instruments: E02-JEM ARM 300CF

Added On: 12/11/2021 14:31

Discipline Tags:

Pathogens Infectious Diseases Health & Wellbeing Technique Development - Life Sciences & Biotech Life Sciences & Biotech

Technical Tags:

Imaging Microscopy Coherent Diffraction Imaging (CDI) Ptychography Electron Microscopy (EM) Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM)