Automated Tools to Advance High-Resolution Imaging in Liquid

G. M. Jonaid, Michael A. Casasanta, William J. Dearnaley, Samantha Berry, Liam Kaylor, Madeline J. Dressel-Dukes, Michael S. Spilman, Jennifer L. Gray, Deborah F. Kelly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Liquid-electron microscopy (EM), the room-temperature correlate to cryo-EM, is a rapidly growing field providing high-resolution insights of macromolecules in solution. Here, we describe how liquid-EM experiments can incorporate automated tools to propel the field to new heights. We demonstrate fresh workflows for specimen preparation, data collection, and computing processes to assess biological structures in liquid. Adeno-associated virus (AAV) and the SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid (N) were used as model systems to highlight the technical advances. These complexes were selected based on their major differences in size and natural symmetry. AAV is a highly symmetric, icosahedral assembly with a particle diameter of ~25 nm. At the other end of the spectrum, N protein is an asymmetric monomer or dimer with dimensions of approximately 5-7 nm, depending upon its oligomerization state. Equally important, both AAV and N protein are popular subjects in biomedical research due to their high value in vaccine development and therapeutic efforts against COVID-19. Overall, we demonstrate how automated practices in liquid-EM can be used to decode molecules of interest for human health and disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)361-370
Number of pages10
JournalMicroscopy and Microanalysis
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 11 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Instrumentation


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