The preparation of specimens for cryo-electron microscopy is currently a labor and time intensive process, and the quality of resulting samples is highly dependent on both environmental and procedural factors. Specimens must be applied to sample grids in a high-humidity environment, frozen in liquid ethane, and stored in liquid nitrogen. The combination of cryogenic temperatures and humidity-control mandates the segregation of the humidity-controlled environment from the cryogenic environment. Several devices which automate portions of the specimen preparation process are currently in use; however, these systems still require significant human interaction in order to create viable samples. This paper describes a fully automated system for specimen preparation. The resulting system removes the need for human input during specimen preparation, improves process control, and provides similar levels of environmental control. Early testing shows that the resulting system is capable of manipulating samples in an autonomous manner while providing performance similar to existing systems.
- Dynamic Systems and Control Division
A Fully Automated System for the Preparation of Samples for Cryo-Electron Microscopy
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Thompson, ZJ, Johnson, KL, Jr., Overby, N, Chidi, JI, Pryor, WK, & O’Malley, MK. "A Fully Automated System for the Preparation of Samples for Cryo-Electron Microscopy." Proceedings of the ASME 2010 Dynamic Systems and Control Conference. ASME 2010 Dynamic Systems and Control Conference, Volume 1. Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. September 12–15, 2010. pp. 459-465. ASME. https://doi.org/10.1115/DSCC2010-4272
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