Center for Advanced Structural Biology (CASB)

Desirée Benefield, PhD, Facility Manager

To access services from the CASB, please login or create an account in Stratocore at https://ppms.us/uc/start/

Overview:
Established in July 2022, the UC Center for Advanced Structural Biology (CASB) is integrating the latest technology in single-particle cryogenic electron microscopy (cryo-EM).  This technology has revolutionized structural biology, emerging as the leading method in macromolecular structure determination to visualize large protein assemblies of unprecedented size and complexity, many of which are intractable by conventional NMR and X-ray crystallography methods.  Through the support of institutional Research2030 funds, the first phase of equipment in now available for training and use by investigators as part of the CASB core facility. This includes a Thermo Talos L120C Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM) that can be operated at both ambient and cryogenic temperatures and is ideally suited for imaging negatively stained samples and screening cryo-EM samples prepared with our TFS Mark IV Vitrobot.  Details of both systems are provided in the equipment section. 
 
For Phase 2, the CASB applied for and was awarded a Shared Instrumentation Grant (S10OD030388) from the high-end instrumentation (HEI) program from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).  The S10 funding along with additional institutional funds led to the purchase of a Thermo Glacios 200 kV cryogenic TEM equipped with both a Ceta-16M camera and a TFS Falcon 4 direct electron detector, in addition to a Selectris Energy Filter. This system will have the potential for solving atomic resolution structures for SPA projects. The Glacios will also come equipped with software for micro-Electron Diffraction data set collection. This system has been delievered and will begin installation in August 2023 which is expected to take 6-8 weeks to complete.  
 
Services Available:

  • Training and access to the Mark IV Vitrobot plunge freezer
  • Training and access to the Talos L120C TEM system
  • Training and access to the Glacios 200 kV cryogenic TEM system (October 2023)
  • Assisted TEM analysis by CASB personnel (inquiry required)
Location & Hours:
The CASB is located on the ground level of the Medical Sciences building in rooms G056-G060.  The Facility Manager is available Monday - Friday, 9:00am - 5:00pm or by appointment.

Cryo-EM in the news:
UC commits to investment in Cryo-EM technology. June 30, 2022
 
UC Scientists are excited to deep-freeze molecules. July 18, 2022
 
UC hosts world renowned structural biologists for Grand Opening Cryo-EM symposium.  September 7, 2023
 
UC College of Medicine opens the Center for Advanced Structural Biology featuring Cryo-EM. September 18, 2023
 

Services10
  • Talos L120C TEM system (unassisted) per hour

    Cost:

    $40

    Request Information
  • Talos L120C TEM system (assisted) per hour

    Cost:

    $110

    Request Information
  • Vitrobot sample preparation (unassisted) per hour

    Cost:

    $25

    Request Information
  • Vitrobot sample preparation (assisted) per hour

    Cost:

    $95

    Request Information
  • Negative Stain Bench (unassisted) per hour

    Cost:

    $20

    Request Information
  • Negative Stain Bench (assisted) per hour

    Cost:

    $90

    Request Information
  • Personnel Time per hour

    Cost:

    $70

    Request Information
  • Glacios 200 kV TEM system (unassisted) per hour

    Cost:

    $70

    Request Information
  • Glacios 200 kV TEM system (Assisted) per hour

    Cost:

    $140

    Request Information
  • External rates vary so please inquire with the Facilities Manager.

    Cost:

    TBD

    Request Information
Equipment3
  • Talos L120C TEM system

    The Talos transmission electron microscopy offer the ability to screen samples with high contrast and high sensitivity. Specifications include: 0.204nm Line resolution and <0.37nm point resolution. This system is housed in MSB G056 and will be used for negative stain imaging and for cryo-EM sample screening.

    The Talos is equipped with a Gatan Elsa (698) side-entry cryo-holder for imaging cryo-EM samples.

    Request Information
  • Mark IV Vitrobot

    This system allows for reproducible vitrification of biological sample for cryo-EM analysis. Vitrification results from a rapid-freezing method that forms transparent, amorphous ice without damaging the biological samples. The Vitrobot interface offers control over temperature, humidity and other grid blotting settings allowing for reproducible sample freezing conditiions.

    Request Information
  • Glacios 200 kV cyogenic TEM

    Glacios 200 kV cryogenic TEM equipped with both a Ceta-16M camera and a TFS Falcon 4 direct electron detector, in addition to a Selectris Energy Filter. This system will have the potential for solving atomic resolution structures for SPA projects.

    Request Information