Measurement for our planet
Measurement for our planet

As COP26 approaches, discover how NPL plays a key role in enabling climate action through the delivery of accurate, reliable data that supports decision making and enables low carbon innovation.

Drug discovery

Cryogenic-electron microscopy (CryoEM)

High resolution biological imaging at near atomic levels

NPL has expanded its comprehensive biological imaging capabilities to include Cryogenic-electron Microscopy (CryoEM). This powerful technique allows our research teams to see the structure of biomolecules with near atomic precision. CryoEM techniques not only enable an increased understanding of the detailed structural biology of molecules and pathogens but allows the design and development of drugs that have an increased chance of successfully interacting with their intended target. This makes CryoEM a vital imaging technique in understanding and treating diseases and developing the therapeutics to combat them.


As the UK’s National Metrology Institute, we can utilise our team’s expertise and background in metrology across all aspects of the CryoEM imaging process – from sample preparation to image acquisition and data analysis – to ensure that accurate data is captured, analysed and reported.

To learn more, contact our expert team to find out how we can help.

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How can we help

The combination of metrology expertise and experience with a wide range of imaging platforms, means that we are ideally suited to assist organisations that are new to using CryoEM as a technique. Our microscopy team is able to offer expertise and guidance through each step of the sample preparation and analysis process.

We have an extensive range of complementary biological imaging capabilities and expertise to support life science research available under one roof, so the team is ideally positioned to support drug discovery and disease progression research programmes.

Extended imaging capabilities to support life science research

The recent expansion of the Cryo-EM facility investment was supported through funding from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) Synthetic Biology Standards Project; financed by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s (BEIS). It contributes to our collaboration with the Synthetic Biology Industrial Accelerator (SynbiCITE) at Imperial College London (ICL) and is an example of NPL’s continued commitment to supporting healthcare and life science research and development through the application of Metrology.

The new facilities are a further extension to our capability and complement existing bio-imaging technologies including the 3D and Cryo – OrbiSIMS and NanoSIMS. This breadth of capability enables the team to understand with increasing resolution the development of key diseases such as cancer and the therapeutic regimes our science is helping develop to combat them.

Contact us to find out more about CryoEM and to see if this or other imaging techniques can assist your next stage of research.

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Our research and measurement solutions support innovation and product development. We work with companies to deliver business advantage and commercial success.
Contact our Customer Services team on +44 20 8943 7070