Chapter 19.6 Electron cryomicroscopy of biological macromolecules

Crystallography of biological macromolecules

Second Online Edition (2012)

Part 19. Other experimental techniques

  1. T. S. Baker1,
  2. R. Henderson2

Published Online: 14 APR 2012

DOI: 10.1107/97809553602060000872

International Tables for Crystallography

International Tables for Crystallography

How to Cite

Baker, T. S. and Henderson, R. 2012. Electron cryomicroscopy of biological macromolecules. International Tables for Crystallography. F:19:19.6:593–614.

Author Information

  1. 1

    Departments of Chemistry & Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of California, San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive MC‐0378, La Jolla, CA 92093–0378, USA

  2. 2

    Medical Research Council, Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Hills Road, Cambridge CB2 2QH, England

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 14 APR 2012



This chapter gives a complete but concise introduction to electron cryomicroscopy. The theoretical and practical background is discussed together with a review of applications to the three‐dimensional structural analysis of biological macromolecules or macromolecular assemblies. It includes basic descriptions of how to analyse the structures of molecules arranged in the form of two‐dimensional crystals, helical arrays or as single particles with or without symmetry. The chapter concludes by anticipating trends towards increased automation, development of better electronic cameras and increasing use of electron tomography for analysis of cell structure.


  • cryoTEM;
  • electron cryomicroscopy;
  • electron microscopy;
  • electron scattering;
  • helical particles;
  • icosahedral particles;
  • image processing in cryoTEM;
  • phasing;
  • radiation damage;
  • three‐dimensional image reconstruction;
  • two‐dimensional crystals