We present a novel microfluidic platform to examine biological assemblies at high-resolution. We have engineered a functionalized chamber that serves as a “nanoscale biosphere” to capture and maintain rotavirus double-layered particles (DLPs) in a liquid environment. The chamber can be inserted into the column of a transmission electron microscope while being completely isolated from the vacuum system. This configuration allowed us to determine the structure of biological complexes at nanometer-resolution within a self-contained vessel. Images of DLPs were used to calculate the first 3D view of macromolecules in solution. We refer to this new fluidic visualization technology as in situ molecular microscopy.
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