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Thermo Scientific Tundra Cryo-TEM Democratizes Cryo-Electron Microscopy

Thermo Scientific Tundra Cryo-TEM Democratizes Cryo-Electron Microscopy content piece image
Credit: Thermo Fisher Scientific
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Thermo Fisher Scientific today announced the new Thermo Scientific Tundra Cryo Transmission Electron Microscope (Cryo-TEM), an instrument that extends cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) to more scientists by delivering industry-leading ease of use at an affordable price.

The Tundra uses artificial intelligence (AI), guided automation and new loader technology to dramatically simplify the microscope's use, extending cryo-EM to researchers of any experience level. The integrated cryo-loading station replaces previous manual manipulation, enabling quick, effortless and robust sample loading and transfer to the microscope for immediate assessment and structure determination. Tundra also delivers a compact footprint that fits most of today's standard-sized labs, eliminating the need for potential renovations. In addition, it's offered at a lower price-point, making it possible for more institutions and pharmaceutical companies to obtain structural insights at a biologically relevant resolution.

"Cryo-EM is speeding the path to disease understanding and treatment. However, many institutions find these instruments to be out of reach because of cost and because they are too complex for new researchers," said Trisha Rice, vice president and general manager of life sciences at Thermo Fisher Scientific. "We worked with cryo-EM luminaries to develop an instrument that not only delivers results, but, more importantly, brings cryo-EM to more users."

The Tundra simplifies cryo-EM in several ways. It offers:

  • AI and guided automation that help non-experts quickly identify the quality of their samples and easily navigate an otherwise complex workflow. As the sample moves through the cryo-EM process, the results are displayed in a "traffic light" style that helps scientists quickly determine if their sample is viable. 
  • An integrated loader that makes it easier to load samples into the microscope than conventional systems. Scientists can exchange sample carriers in about two minutes. This allows researchers to rapidly optimize biochemistry sample conditions as results can be checked immediately.
  • Resolutions as high as 3.5 angstrom with throughput within 24 to 72 hours.

Cryo-EM has revolutionized structural biology research in just five years, after being named the Nature Method of the Year 2015. This method allows scientists to drive impactful research, and three luminaries in the cryo-EM field won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2017 for their foundational work on this technique.

Thermo Fisher continues to advance cryo-EM innovation to help drive scientific discovery, speeding the path to disease understanding and treatment. The Tundra rounds out the Thermo Scientific portfolio of cryo-TEMs by offering an affordable instrument for users of all experience levels. It joins the Thermo Scientific Glacios Cryo-TEM, a versatile solution for mid-range cryo-EM single particle analysis (SPA) and the Thermo Scientific Krios Cryo-TEM, a powerful TEM designed for ultimate performance and productivity. All three cryo-TEMs can be used independently or together, enabling researchers to match the right instrument to their research needs.