Infrastructure

As the largest industry provider of cryoEM services to pharmaceutical and biotech companies in the world, NIS is committed to expanding our service capacity. To do so, we are planning for ongoing microscope acquisition, workflow automation, recruiting and training of top talent, and development of new service offerings to remain leaders in the field. NIS was incorporated in April 2007 and began services upon delivery of a FEI Tecnai 12 Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM). For the first 10 years, NIS specialized in using TEM for biopharmaceutical characterization. In 2017, NIS acquired a Thermo Fisher (formerly FEI) Titan Krios TEM and began offering services and partnerships to clients for high resolution macromolecular structure determination using single particle cryoEM. A Thermo Fisher Glacios TEM was added in 2018 to support all areas of the business. 2020 has been a landmark year for NIS, as we continue to expand our San Diego facility and open a new location in Woburn, MA. Our new San Diego Annex will have capacity for multiple Titan Krios microscopes with the second Titan Krios scheduled for operation in June 2020.  A Glacios TEM is being installed in Woburn in April of 2020 and the facility will also be ready for operations in June 2020.

Transmission Electron Microscopes

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Tecnai T12 - San Diego HQ

Our workhorse characterization microscope supporting biologics and drug development. Suitable for negative stain and cryoEM, this microscope has acquired nearly 3 million images over the course of its 13-year lifespan.

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TFS Glacios - San Diego HQ

Equipped with Falcon III and CetaD cameras, and an autoloader, this microscope is ideal for screening cryoEM grids to assess readiness for Krios data collection.  And it is the perfect instrument for microED! 

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TFS Glacios - Woburn, MA

Equipped with Falcon IV and CetaD cameras, and an autoloader, this microscope supports the same workflows we have established in San Diego, especially for our Boston area clients with samples that are difficult to ship.

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TFS Titan Krios 1 - San Diego

Equipped with a Gatan K2 Summit detector (soon to be upgraded to a K3), Gatan Quantum energy filter, and Volta Phase plate, this instrument has provided data for more than 60 structures with resolutions between 1.8Å and 4Å.

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TFS Titan Krios 2 - San Diego

Equipped with a Gatan K3 detector and Gatan Quantum energy filter, this instrument will also soon be collecting data 24/7 to serve the needs of our clients for high throughput and rapid turnaround data of the highest quality. 

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Keep checking back
We have space for many more instruments in the San Diego Annex and at Woburn so ....

.... there are more to come!


Computational Support & Client Interfaces

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Leginon/Appion

An advanced data collection pipeline that provides the option for full automation while permitting easy user intervention and adjustment to ensure the most efficient and effective data collection strategies for cryoEM and microED.

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Single Particle Data Processing 

A complete pipeline for single particle analysis provides real-time feedback and rapid structure determination. Both CryoSPARC and Relion are available, along with internal NIS procedures developed from our breadth of SPA experience.

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Remote Image Viewer


Secure web-viewing tools provide real time viewing of image collection. Real-time frame alignments and CTF measurements provide continuous feedback on data quality so that NIS and clients can remotely collaborate on ideal data collection strategy.

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MicroED Structure Determination

A complete pipeline for microED data reduction and processing provides real-time feedback during data collection and conversion to file formats suitable for importing into standard X-ray crystallography packages. Software for phasing, model building and refinement are also available.

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Client Portal

A secure web-based portal provides a dashboard for report and data delivery. Images and data are transported within NIS on a high speed, redundant network. High bandwidth external internet connections support fast, encrypted uploads to custom or cloud-based storage services.

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Computational Infrastructure

We support state of the art computing resources, all located within our own secure facilities, consisting of over 200 processing cores, 25 GPUs, and 3600 TB of storage space. All data are secured behind several redundant hardware firewalls and we follow NIST security guidelines for user access points.   

Sample Prep & Ancillary Equipment

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Sample Vitrification

At NIS we have accumulated decades of experience and established reliable standard operating procedures for both Vitrobot and manual plunging devices.  We routinely vitrify soluble proteins, membrane proteins stabilized by detergents, nanodiscs and amphipols, lipid nanoparticles, and formulations such as creams, gels, and emulsions. TFS Vitrobots and ancillary equipment are available at all locations.

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Vitrification using chameleon

The chameleon vitrification method, developed by the founders of NIS, uses a piezo dispensing tip to spray a stream of ~50 pL droplets onto a self-wicking nanowire grid. Physical blotting is eliminated, sample waste and exposure time at the air-water interface are drastically reduced and the use of high-speed cameras allows fine control over a more uniform sample layer thickness. NIS-HQ currently has an early prototype available.

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Negative Staining

Negative stain is an excellent method for providing a “quick-look” at your sample to evaluate its suitability for further analysis.  We also offer optimized negative staining for more detailed assessments of sample behavior. When combined with 2D class averaging, this provides insight into protein domain structure, antibody flexibility and sample integrity. These services are available at all NIS locations.

Get to know our team

Speak with our experts about scheduling remote or onsite introductions to cryoEM and our services.

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