Graphene oxide (GO) sheets have been used successfully as a supporting substrate film in several recent cryogenic electron-microscopy (cryo-EM) studies of challenging biological macromolecules. However, difficulties in preparing GO-covered holey carbon EM grids have limited their widespread use. Here, we report a simple and robust method for covering holey carbon EM grids with GO sheets and demonstrate that these grids can be used for high-resolution single particle cryo-EM. GO substrates adhere macromolecules, allowing cryo-EM grid preparation with lower specimen concentrations and provide partial protection from the air-water interface. Additionally, the signal of the GO lattice beneath the frozen-hydrated specimen can be discerned in many motion-corrected micrographs, providing a high-resolution fiducial for evaluating beam-induced motion correction.
Keywords: Cryo-EM; EM grids; Graphene-oxide; Motion correction.
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