The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared COVID-19 a pandemic. Determining the structure of the virus is an important milestone in guiding the development of medical countermeasures like vaccines. Daniel Wrapp et al. just published the structure of the 2019-nCoV “trimeric spike” – the portion of the virus that binds to host cells. (https://science.sciencemag.org/content/367/6483/1260) Their data was obtained using cryoelectron microscopy, or cryo-EM. This technique involves freezing a sample of the virus in a thin ice layer and then taking thousands of images using powerful high-resolution electron microscopes. With these images, scientists can reconstruct a model of the virus that can then be used to ultimately create a vaccine.
Protochips’ C-Flat product was used as the sample support for this research. We’re proud to play a small role in helping the scientific community rapidly respond to emerging health crises.