Cryo- microscope Glacios will soon be available to users

March 17, 2021

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A quick and efficient installation of the cryoelectron transmission microscope Glacios at NCPS Solaris was finished in January 2021. The Glacios microscope, funded by the Information Processing Center, will be available to users in the third quarter of this year. The device will be available to both scientists and commercial users with 60% of the time dedicated to scientific research and 40% of the time guaranteed for the industry.

The microscope installed in Solaris in January is a world-class device equipped with, among others, the latest generation Falcon 4EC detector. Additional parameters of the microscope worth mentioning are:

  • 200 kV accelerating voltage
  • Semi-automation
  • Grid AutoLoader
  • Double-condenser lens system
  • Ceta-D ThermoScientific CMOS camera

Moreover, the new microscope provides new functionality – microcrystal electron diffraction (MicroED). This method takes advantage of sensitive state-of-the-art detectors to determine protein structures from nanocrystals which are only about 10 layers thick.

Glacios having slightly lower resolution that Titan Krios G3i can be used as a screening microscope for samples dedicated for later higher resolution measurements. But in many cases the provided resolution is sufficient to give enough information for the experimenter.

The National Cryo-EM Center, thanks to the presence of two top-class cryomicroscopes, is a unique center in Poland and allows for even more comprehensive research than before.

The currently ongoing testing phase, during which samples of different quality are measured on the microscope, will allow to detect potential errors in the operation of the microscope, improve measurements and help operators to improve the skill of using the new device. Users can expect an open call for proposals for the Glacios microscope in the third quarter of this year. As the performed measurements will be commercial, the proposals will not be assessed by the evaluation committee, but only checked by specialists in terms of technical parameters and the assessment of experimental  feasibility on a cryomicroscope. A detailed price list will be available soon on the SOLARIS website.

The initiative to apply for funding for the purchase of a new cryomicroscope was the interest expressed not only from academic users but also from biotechnology companies. The cryomicroscopic technique, used to predict molecular structures, is an essential step in the drug design process. The technique is also applicable in nanotechnology and other sciences.