The Franklin and ThermoFisher Scientific have reached a major project milestone, with the sample preparation techniques under development as part of the Amplus Large Volume Tomography project achieving its first results.
Sample preparation and manipulation is a major technical hurdle to overcome in large volume tomography, with challenges in both freezing, and sample transfer and movement, increasing as samples grow.
Dr Maud Dumoux, PRDA on the Amplus Project
Long term, the team hope to use the technique to prepare tissues for analysis, enabling molecular analysis of patient biopsy samples, for which mastering preparing, high pressure freezing, and transferring samples quickly and effectively is essential.
Learning how to manage large volume samples is a challenge for the Franklin team working on the project. An enabling piece of equipment from ThermoFisher, which has been christened ‘Rosalind’ by the project team, is key to this work.
Dr Maud Dumoux, PDRA on the Amplus project said ‘Working with this tool, and preparing samples like this is completely new, and we are really enjoying this journey with ThermoFisher. Seeing the first results was incredible – we can’t wait to do more!’.
This latest milestone marks the first results from Rosalind, enabling the team to explore further techniques in sample preparation, using different methods of producing and freezing samples. Making the freezing process reliable and predictable is a major challenge in all types of cryo-EM, lowering the barriers of achieving good vitrification for all users of the technique.