Hollow cone electron imaging for single particle 3D reconstruction of proteins
Faculty of Sciences. Physics
London :Nature Publishing Group
Scientific reports. - London, 2011, currens
, p. 1-9
University of Antwerp
The main bottlenecks for high-resolution biological imaging in electron microscopy are radiation sensitivity and low contrast. The phase contrast at low spatial frequencies can be enhanced by using a large defocus but this strongly reduces the resolution. Recently, phase plates have been developed to enhance the contrast at small defocus but electrical charging remains a problem. Single particle cryo-electron microscopy is mostly used to minimize the radiation damage and to enhance the resolution of the 3D reconstructions but it requires averaging images of a massive number of individual particles. Here we present a new route to achieve the same goals by hollow cone dark field imaging using thermal diffuse scattered electrons giving about a 4 times contrast increase as compared to bright field imaging. We demonstrate the 3D reconstruction of a stained GroEL particle can yield about 13.5 Å resolution but using a strongly reduced number of images.