We’ve partnered with Thermo Fisher Scientific – the world leader in serving science – to develop a faster, higher-resolution camera for cryo-electron microscopes.
Structural biologists are always looking for faster, more detailed results to help them investigate large, complex molecules like proteins. Thermo Fisher Scientific produces some of the world’s most advanced cryo-TEMs (transmission electron microscopes), and their deep application knowledge matches well with our camera expertise and manufacturing capabilities. The collaboration has led to Thermo Fisher’s high-precision Falcon 4i Direct Electron Camera. This allows scientists to visualize individual protein atoms, which helps improve understanding of their role in biological processes. That in turn helps improve diagnoses, therapies, vaccines, and more. With its six-fold speed improvement, it also helps scientists to finish their projects faster.
First, the sensor is packaged at Prodrive Technologies’ facilities, with the silicon die being very accurately placed onto a PCB substrate and connected using 900 wire bonds. The sensor is then integrated into a camera that was also developed by Prodrive. This operates in an ultra-high vacuum where samples are exposed to the electron beam. Each camera has 10+ year life despite being moved in and out of the vacuum chamber well over 50,000 times. The camera shape is unchanged so that it can be integrated into an existing cryo-electron microscope.
Joint effort results in breakthrough innovation
“The Krios G4 Cryo-TEM is a breakthrough technology in the field of electron microscopy, allowing scientists to unravel life at the molecular level easier, faster, and more reliably than ever before. The Falcon 4i Direct Electron Camera developed in conjunction with Prodrive Technologies is a crucial part of this breakthrough,” said Bert van Gent, Thermo Fisher Scientific Sr Project manager Camera’s.
Combining the collective expertise of Thermo Fisher and Prodrive resulted in a breakthrough innovation with improved accuracy and time-to-results, and enhanced reliability and user experience. This breakthrough discovery cannot be done without the collaboration between each other.