Courtesy of Sidec Technologies

Researchers looking for a three-dimensional view of interesting molecules typically turn to high-resolution structural determination methods such as nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) or X-ray crystallography. But not all applications require the level of resolution obtainable through these methods. Stockholm-based Sidec Technologies has developed a novel imaging method for such applications; the company's SET technology combines a proprietary optimization algorithm (COMET) with low-dose cryoelectron tomography to reconstruct images of individual molecules in solution, cells, or tissues.

Malin Engström, marketing director, uses an aquatic analogy to describe how the technology works: "It is like taking an aquarium of fish and flash-freezing it, and then you can zoom in and study all the individual fish that are in the aquarium." In Sidec's case, the fish are macromolecules such as proteins, and each of the proteins in a client's sample can be reconstructed three-dimensionally at a resolution of two nanometers....

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