Potter CS, Pulokas J, Smith P, Suloway C, Carragher B (2004) Robotic grid loading system for a transmission electron microscope. J Struct Biol 146:431–440
The design, construction, and testing of a robotic grid loading system for a transmission electron microscope is presented. The system, when integrated with automated data collection software, has the potential to carry out large scale multi-grid experiments, as required, for example, by 2D protein crystallization screening trials. We present a detailed description of the system that utilizes a 6 axis articulate robotic arm to load microscope grids into a specimen holder and then load the holder into the microscope. Grids are stored in trays with a capacity of 96 that are based on the format of a standard 96-well microtiter plate. The system has been integrated with an FEI Tecnai microscope and does not require any modification to the microscope and only minor modifications to the specimen holder. Preliminary results regarding cycle time, failure rates, positioning accuracy and a 96 grid screening experiment are presented.
Automatic data collection