Graphene meets protein: exploring applications of two-dimensional materials in cryo-EM

Yimo Han,
Department of Cell
Materials Science and NanoEngineering
Rice University
12PM – August 23, 2021

Two-dimensional materials are inorganic crystalline materials consisting of a single layer of atoms. Their extraordinary physical and chemical properties have found applications in electronics, energy conversion, and water purification. One of my research directions is on combining the inorganic two-dimensional materials and cryo-EM to explore new applications in structural biology. Our lab has developed a robust approach to produce high-yield graphene-covered grids for cryo-EM, which has enabled a 2.6-Å structure of 52-kDa streptavidin. Our method also enables the direct visualization of floppy DNA origami in solution. Our technique paves the way for higher quality and more general cryo-EM sample preparation. We expect our method to benefit the cryo-EM community by improving the sample preparation process.


Dr. Han is an assistant professor of Materials Science and NanoEngineering. She received her B.S. in Physics from Tsinghua University and Ph.D. in Applied Physics from Cornell with Prof. David Muller. Her research focused on electron microscopy and the characterization of nanomaterials. After graduating from Cornell University, she joined Prof. Nieng Yan’s group in the Department of Molecular Biology at Princeton University to expand her knowledge on cryo-EM, as well as develop ways to utilize nanomaterials in biological characterization. Dr. Han started her own lab in the Department of Materials Science and NanoEngineering at Rice University in July 2020. Her group has a focus on developing novel TEM techniques to investigate nanomaterials and nano-bio interfaces.

2021-08-30T18:02:21+00:00August 19th, 2021|Forums, Past Events|