Application: Biological Cryo-EM

The DE cameras were especially designed to fulfill the needs for biological cryo-EM experiments such as single-particle or cryo-tomography

The DE cameras offer the ultimate resolution, highest sensitivity and largest field of view one will need to perform optimized single-particle cryo-EM and cryo-tomography experiments. The advantages of the DE cameras if compared to other direct detection cameras are:

  • Dramatically increased signal-to-noise ratio in every single image. Particles can be easier identified and used for reconstruction
  • Larger field of view to increase the particles density in the image
  • High-speed image acquisition which can be used to correct sample drift induced by the electron beam or the stage on the fly
  • Special “damage compensation“ algorithms can be used to minimize the effects of high-dose acquisition

Breaking the 3 Å barrier

The DE-series cameras from Direct Electron deliver the best image quality in seconds. This is a huge improvement as other competitive direct detection cameras require very long exposure times to get at least mid-quality images. This high-speed data collection enables also more effective motion correction while imaging.

The DE-20 detector from Direct Electron is nearly 40% larger compared to other direct detectors on the market while the DE-64 detector with its true 8kx8k resolution is around 5x larger. This means that you have a larger field-of-view which leads to more particles per image and to fewer images needed for reconstruction (improved CTF correction).

This combination of large field-of-view, high speed and excellent performance enabled our customers to breakthrough experimental results like breaking the 2.9 Å barrier.
However, much often this very high resolution is not required as most daily based biological cryo-EM experiments are in the intermediate resolution range. Those experiments will also benefit from the large field-of-view, the extremely high image quality and the movie-mode corrections that can be done with the direct detection cameras from Direct Electron.

Cryo Tomography

The high sensitivity coupled with the high resolution makes the Direct Electron cameras ideal candidates for cryo tomography EM experiments. The user can perform low-dose image experiments and visualize Thon rings in each image to do CTF fitting. One challenge within cellular tomography is the location and tracking of the region-of-interest throughout the complete tilt series. One will need a large camera to ensure that the region-of-interest is recorded in every single image of the tomography series.


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