chameleon automates the consistent application of samples to high-quality foil grids for cryo-EM analysis, saving time and improving research outcomes across a range of projects


A more efficient pathway to quality frozen grids for cryo-EM

Cryo-EM has developed into a powerful tool for studying the fine detail of biological structure required in areas such as drug discovery. Despite this, producing quality frozen grids with vitreous ice of an appropriate thickness and evenly distributed particles remains a key bottleneck in the structure determination workflow. We drew on decades of experience in structural biology process automation to create chameleon and provide optimizable vitrification for each unique sample behavior, reducing the time and costs associated with traditional trial-and-error methods.


chameleon streamlines cryo-EM sample preparation workflows with high speed blot-free vitrification, automated grid handling, and the ability to screen grids based on likely ice thickness. Guided workflows simplify set up, use, and cleaning of the instrument while the minimization of manual handling eliminates sample loss and damage.

The powerful combination of robotics, automation, and intelligent software allows experts and novice users alike quicker access to consistent results. Users can confidently work with the instrument using guided software protocols intended to handle the experimental framework and limit manual intervention.

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Self-wicking grids for use exclusively with chameleon

QUANTIFOIL Active grids are unique in being the first commercially produced grids with copper nano-wire covered bars to promote thin film formation through a process of “self-wicking”. This novel grid technology removes the variability of applying an externally applied filter paper to remove excess sample during blotting.

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The chameleon has enabled an efficient cryoEM workflow for Arvinas by allowing us to freeze our samples promptly upon elution from the column, thus allowing rapid capture of complexes on grids ready for cryoEM data collection. By improving sample quality and reducing screening loads on microscopes, chameleon has allowed us to leverage both academic and industry partners for data collection. This allows us to focus our resources and efforts on producing high-quality protein complexes to advance the field of PROTAC® protein degradation.

Katie Digianantonio, PhD

Research Investigator

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