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Cryo-electron tomography (cryo-ET) has been gaining momentum in recent years, especially since the introduction of direct electron detectors, improved automated acquisition strategies, preparative techniques that expand the possibilities of what the electron microscope can image at high-resolution using cryo-ET and new subtomogram averaging software. Additionally, data acquisition has become increasingly streamlined, making it more accessible to many users. The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has further accelerated remote cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) data collection, especially for single-particle cryo-EM, in many facilities globally, providing uninterrupted user access to state-of-the-art instruments during the pandemic. With the recent advances in Tomo5 (software for 3D electron tomography), remote cryo-ET data collection has become robust and easy to handle from anywhere in the world. This article aims to provide a detailed walk-through, starting from the data collection setup in the tomography software for the process of a (remote) cryo-ET data collection session with detailed troubleshooting. The (remote) data collection protocol is further complemented with the workflow for structure determination at near-atomic resolution by subtomogram averaging with emClarity, using apoferritin as an example.

Original publication




Journal article


Journal of visualized experiments : JoVE

Publication Date



Electron Bio-Imaging Centre, Diamond Light Source Ltd, Harwell Science & Innovation Campus.


Humans, Cryoelectron Microscopy, Data Collection, Image Processing, Computer-Assisted, Electron Microscope Tomography, COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2