What is Cryo‑Electron Microscopy?
Current Problems that Our Technology Solves: The sample preparation involves a slow trial and error process to create a viable uniform sample for the microscope to visualize.
- Cryo‑electron microscopes create 3D images of proteins and biomolecules to better understand diseases and combat them.
- Biopharma companies and institutions use these 3D structures to understand how they interact with drugs to develop effective drug therapies early on.
- Cryo‑electron microscopy (cryo-EM) has revolutionized the power of protein structure determination and drug discovery.
- Critically, in many instances where traditional methods (NMR and X‑ray crystallography) fail to create 3D images of complex proteins, cryo‑EM has filled this gap.
- Major bottleneck stems from preparing inconsistent frozen protein samples.
- Slow structure throughput. Only 10-15 structures imaged per year.
- Current sample preparation workflow is labor intensive and creates slow imaging and computing time.
- The current failure rate of usable data for images is 90% to 98%.
What We Do
We have created a technology that requires only our nano-fabricated chip, the Cryo‑chip, to create a thin and consistent sample that can be inserted directly into the current microscopes. We are still in the R&D stage, but are progressing quickly and aim to finish our R&D by 2021.
- Materials create capillary forces with hydrophilicity to keep the sample stable and integrated into the Cryo‑chip before frozen.
- Design prevents denaturation of protein at the surface of the ice layer with no need for a large volume or the blotting process.
- There is no air-water interface, no upkeep, no complex training, no additional workflow, no more headache.
- Step 1: Pipette sample on chip
- Step 2: Plunge freeze
- Step 3: Insert into microscope
- Step 4: Dispose of chip when finished
EMet Nanotech started its journey after being awarded grants from Brandeis University and the federal government. Our Cryo‑chip technology arose out of the Brandeis Innovation Center, originally created by Brandeis and Harvard post‑docs. The inventors created the technology to solve their own problems in the lab, and quickly the unmet need for industry was discovered. EMet Nanotech started its journey by being awarded a few grants from Brandeis University and the government. After being selected for the National Science Foundation-ICorps program, a government entrepreneurship grant for high industry potential ventures, we discovered how crucial our solution is to the cryo‑EM field. This program enabled us to validate our business model and create valuable connections to over 100 potential customers.
The name EMet Nanotech comes from the Brandeis logo, emet, meaning truth in Hebrew. This venture would not be made possible without the unbelievable support and partnership with Brandeis University. It also creates a purpose for the company to stick to what is true and create real positive impact on people’s lives. The EM in EMet stands for Electron Microscopy, since our goal is to transform how we use electron microscopes. Cryo-EM is a revolutionary technology, but certain bottlenecks are creating many challenges to get fast and useful results. EMet Nanotech has an easy solution for a complex problem.
Cryo-EM Cryo Electron Microscopy proteins specimen preparation procedure