Korinek, A.; Beck, F.; Baumeister, W.; Nickell, S. & Plitzko, Jü. M. Computer controlled cryo-electron microscopy--TOM2 a software package for high-throughput applications. J Struct Biol, 2011, 175, 394-405
Automated data acquisition expedites structural studies by electron microscopy and it allows to collect data sets of unprecedented size and consistent quality. In electron tomography it greatly facilitates the systematic exploration of large cellular landscapes and in single particle analysis it allows to generate data sets for an exhaustive classification of coexisting molecular states. Here we describe a novel software philosophy and architecture that can be used for a great variety of automated data acquisition scenarios. Based on our original software package TOM, the new TOM(2) package has been designed in an object-oriented way. The whole program can be seen as a collection of self-sufficient modules with defined relationships acting in a concerted manner. It subdivides data acquisition into a set of hierarchical tasks, bonding data structure and the operations to be performed tightly together. To demonstrate its capacity for high-throughput data acquisition it has been used in conjunction with instrumentation combining the latest technological achievements in electron optics, cryogenics and robotics. Its performance is demonstrated with a single particle analysis case study and with a batch tomography application.