cells on grid

Resilient and extensively functionalizable, QUANTIFOIL® SiO2 films are robust enough to withstand extensive manual handling and FIB-milling. They are a popular choice for in situ biological imaging including cryo-electron tomography and correlated light and electron microscopy (CLEM), as well as materials science applications.

In addition, the ability to easily chemically modify SiOfilm surfaces makes them ideal when:

  • Optimizing the physicochemical properties of the transmission electron microscopy supports.
  • The sample support is part of the experimental protocol: for example directing the growth of a sample or to covalently attaching a biomolecule to the SiO2 surface.

Applications that may benefit from using SiO2 supports include:

  • On-grid cell growth for in situ imaging techniques including CLEM and cryo-FIB, due to their robustness and similarity to glass surfaces.
  • The production of FIB lamallae is aided by the robustness and resilience of SiO2.
  • The ease of functionalization simplifies the attachment of biomolecules (for example DNA or microtubules) for controlled investigations.
  • Semiconductor material characterization can take advantage of all these features.
Research using QUANTIFOIL® SiO2 films


Methods development for in situ structural investigation by FIB-milling and cryo-electron tomography

Toro-Nahuelpan et al. Tailoring cryo-electron microscopy grids by photo-micropatterning for in-cell structural studies. Nat Methods 17: 50-54 (2020)

Lucas and Grigorieff. Quantification of gallium cryo-FIB milling damage in biological lamellae. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 120: e2301852120 (2023)

Franken et al. Protocol for live-cell fluorescence-guided cryoFIB-milling and electron cryo-tomography of virus-infected cells. STAR Protocols 3: 101696 (2022)


Recent examples of Cryo-ET investigations using SiO2 grids

Shepherd et al. Throughput-scalable manufacturing of SARS-CoV-2 mRNA lipid nanoparticle vaccines. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 120: e2303567120 (2023)

Winter et al. The Ebola virus VP40 matrix layer undergoes endosomal disassembly essential for membrane fusion. EMBO J 42: e113578 (2023)

Zhang et al. Molecular mechanisms of stress-induced reactivation in mumps virus condensates. Cell 186: 1877-1894 (2023)