From 5 - 8 July 2022, our Delmic Cryo team, Marit Smeets and Jordan Ledbetter, together with Nanoscience Instruments, our microscopy partner for North America, hosted live demonstrations at Rockefeller University to a hand-selected group of pioneering labs* in the United States. The demos focused on Delmic's METEOR, an integrated cryo-CLEM imaging system, and the CERES Ice Shield, a powerful tool for minimizing ice contamination.
In addition to offering the participants first-hand experience with both our user-friendly and powerful solutions, our lively discussions helped us enhance our understanding of how we can create a tailored and seamless approach for each lab that would potentially integrate Delmic’s cryogenic electron tomography (cryo-ET) solutions into their own environments and workflows.
Over the course of four days, each demo was delivered by both members of our team, together with Honkit Ng (Rockefeller Staff Scientist) and Mark Ebrahim (Rockefeller CryoEM facility manager). Additionally, Cliff Mathisen and Chad Tabatt, sales representatives from Nanoscience, co-hosted the workshop and contributed to the scientific discussions. During each individual workshop, the following activities were discussed and demonstrated:
- Cryo-EM sample preparation and manipulation
- METEOR operation and configuration choices
- Scanning electron microscope (SEM) operation
- Light and electron microscopy image correlation
- Proper conditions and strategies for focused ion beam (FIB) milling
- CERES Ice Shield operation.
Overall, the feedback from our participants was positive and they were impressed by the performance of our cryo-ET solutions.
For METEOR, the participants highly appreciated the user-friendliness of our ODEMIS software. ODEMIS gives users control over the SEM stage to navigate the sample and find the region of interest (ROI) at ease. Saving time is another key advantage of METEOR agreed upon by our participants. Multiple participants mentioned that they would normally image their grids on a cryo-FLM, and bring it to the FIB/SEM only to find out the grid is non-usable. By bringing it directly to the FIB/SEM and checking only the fluorescence signals of the millable cells, significant amounts of time can be saved.
Several participants mentioned that reviewers today specifically ask for proof that the structure visible in the tomogram is related to a function they hypothesize. Using METEOR, researchers can verify ROI presence in the lamella targeting after milling, thus giving additional verification.
In terms of the CERES Ice Shield system, two main key benefits were accentuated: ease of use and ice growth minimization. Almost every participant complimented the automated retraction and insertion functions. For the latter advantage, our participants indicated that the need to reduce ice growth is augmented especially during automated and multiple-day lamella milling sessions. CERES Ice Shield is a powerful tool that can provide the protection you need to get better quality cryo-ET data.
We are delighted that our collaboration with our host, Rockefeller University, and Nanoscience Instruments resulted in a successful workshop. We, therefore, decided to host another demo workshop on 7- 8 March 2023 together with MPI Biochemistry in Martinsried, Germany. We are very grateful to our customer MPI Biochemistry for collaborating with us. Marit Smeets and Kevin Homberg from Delmic will be the hosts, and they are looking forward to the workshop. There is still one spot left- if you're interested, please send an email to Kevin Homberg (email@example.com)!
*New York Structural Biology Center, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Oregon Health and Science University, Yale University, New York University, La Jolla Institute, and University of California: San Diego.