Better, Faster, Cheaper: Recent Advances in Cryo-Electron Microscopy

Annu Rev Biochem. 2022 Jun 21;91:1-32. doi: 10.1146/annurev-biochem-032620-110705. Epub 2022 Mar 23.


Cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) continues its remarkable growth as a method for visualizing biological objects, which has been driven by advances across the entire pipeline. Developments in both single-particle analysis and in situ tomography have enabled more structures to be imaged and determined to better resolutions, at faster speeds, and with more scientists having improved access. This review highlights recent advances at each stageof the cryo-EM pipeline and provides examples of how these techniques have been used to investigate real-world problems, including antibody development against the SARS-CoV-2 spike during the recent COVID-19 pandemic.

Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; automation; cryo-EM; democratization; in situ tomography; machine learning.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19*
  • Cryoelectron Microscopy / methods
  • Humans
  • Pandemics*
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Single Molecule Imaging