Gatan BioContinuum Imaging Filter for Cryo-EM and Cryo-ET

The new Gatan BioContinuum is an easy-to-use imaging filter for single particle cryo-EM, cryo-tomography and low dose imaging applications. It combines electron optics from Gatan’s Continuum imaging filter with the revolutionary K3 direct detection camera.

Blue Scientific is the official Nordic distributor for Gatan systems for electron microscopes in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Iceland. For more information or quotes, please get in touch.

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Gatan BioContinuum Imaging Filter

Gatan BioContinuum

The Gatan BioContinuum imaging filter is the successor to the BioQuantum K3. It streamlines single-particle cryo-EM and cryo-ET, combining technology from Gatan’s cutting-edge systems:

  • Electron optics from the Continuum imaging filter
  • K3 direct detection, electron counting camera

The new system is ideal for low dose, single-particle imaging and research into cellular organisation and ultra-structure. It’s optimised for cryo-EM (cryo-electron microscopy) and cryo-ET (cryo-electron tomography) for research into system function and disease progression at the molecular level.


  • Highest DQE available:
    • Detect smaller particles.
    • Distinguish conformational changes.
    • Lower dose cryo-ET.
    • Higher resolution for 3D reconstruction.
  • Intelligent tuning:
    • Fast, streamlined optics alignment with smart algorithms.
  • 1,500 full frames per second:
    • Acquisition at 3.75 times the speed of the GIF Quantum LS imaging filter.
  • 24 megapixel field of view:
    • Capture 1.6 times the size of the GIF Quantum LS imaging filter.
  • Lowest image distortion:
    • Cutting-edge optics from the Continuum to minimise image distortion.
    • K3 direct detector maximises the available imaging area.

Clear, Accurate Images

The BioContinuum delivers the highest DQE (Detective Quantum Efficiency) available. Using direct detection together with innovative algorithms, the BioContinuum removes inelastically scattered electrons. This improves the signal-to-noise ratio in thick samples and enables you to see smaller particles more easily.

The next-generation electron optics minimize distortion to deliver the clearest, most accurate images of any energy filter available.

Single particle acquisition
Single particle data acquisition

Easy to Use

Achieve excellent results even if you’re new to the technique, with fully automated alignment routines. Filter tuning is fast and easy; With a single click, smart algorithms tune the filter for reproducible results from short- and long-term studies. Automated zero-loss tuning routines make it quicker to fine-tune image alignment.

A guided workflow in the software (Latitude S for single particle cryo-EM) makes it easy to set up experiments and automate multi-region acquisition.

Tracking algorithms take care of specimen motion correction and drift, for improved single-particle imaging and cryo-ET results.

Electron Counting

Individual image electrons are detected and counted in real time, with a maximum frame rate of 1500 full frames per second. In contrast to conventional direct detection, the BioContinuum’s fast capture rate minimises coincidence loss, for the highest resolution, single-electron counted images possible.

We were lucky to be the first UK site to have a K3 camera installed and in January, with support from Gatan, were able to get Latitude up and running at full speed. We’re now routinely getting 180 images an hour for our clients, which is an almost 3-fold increase in acquisition rates over the old K2 when the bigger chip size is also taken into consideration. This has translated in larger data sets for our users and shorter acquisition times, hence cost savings for their research budgets. We were are now able to collect enough data to get 2.3 Å apoferritin in 40 minutes!
Jason Van Rooyen, Senior Industrial Liaison Scientist, Cryo-Electron Microscopy at eBIC for Industry

This video explains the principle behind electron counting and how it enables the K3 camera to deliver the highest resolution results for single particle cryo-electron microscopy:

Low Dose

With a high frame rate, you can capture high resolution information before the structural integrity of the specimen is damaged by electron beam irradiation. This gives you high resolution images and longer observations, opening up new applications on sensitive materials.

With a typical dose of 10 – 30 e-/Å2, the shorter exposure time enables you to collect the same number of images 3.75 times faster than the GIF Quantum LS imaging filter.

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Why is Frame Rate Important?

Frame rate improves motion correction in cryo-electron microscopy. The video below shows the difference between a high frame rate and an exceptionally fast frame rate.

A higher frame rate gives you a clearer, more defined image:

More Information

Blue Scientific is the official distributor for Gatan in Scandinavia and the Nordic region. We’re available to answer all your questions – just get in touch:

 Contact us on +44 (0)1223 422 269 or

View the complete Gatan range

More about cryo-EM