Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

How Do Your Crystals Grow?

15.09.2010
Because one of the main bottlenecks in determining the structure of protein molecules is producing good isolated single crystals, improved crystallization techniques would be useful in a wide range of genomics and pharmaceutical research.

Research reported in The Journal of Chemical Physics uses fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS) to investigate the processes at the surface of a growing crystal. By focusing a laser on the crystal surface and measuring the resulting fluorescence, FCS can resolve dimensions as small as a single wavelength of the light.

"Another advantage of fluorescence is that it provides a high signal-to-noise ratio," says author Shinpei Tanaka of Hiroshima University in Japan. "We are able to measure very dilute solutions at the crystal interface."

The researchers found that when single tetragonal crystals of egg-white lysozyme formed, there was no concentration gradient between the solution and the crystal surface. However, in formation of clumps of needle-like branched crystals, called spherulites, the observed concentration at the surface was several times higher than that of the bulk solution. The authors attributed the difference to aggregates of loosely bound molecules near the interface.

Characterization of the dynamics near the crystal by FCS may provide direction for improving the crystallization process -- currently as much an art as a science, based on trial and error -- because the spherulites are not usable for structural characterizations.

"Although we knew something was different between the two crystal forms, the degree of concentration of the molecules in spherulites compared to that of the homogeneous state around tetragonal single crystals was surprising," says Tanaka.

The analytical result could lead to improvements in isolation of good crystals of biomolecules. For example, the results suggest that local heating by a laser could be used to control local concentrations and avoid spherulite formation.

The article, "Slow molecular dynamics close to crystal surfaces during crystallization of a protein lysozyme studied by fluorescence correlation spectroscopy" by Shinpei Tanaka appears in The Journal of Chemical Physics. http://link.aip.org/link/jcpsa6/v133/i9/p095103/s1

Journalists may request a free PDF of this article by contacting jbardi@aip.org

NOTE: An image is available for journalists. Please contact jbardi@aip.org

ABOUT THE JOURNAL OF CHEMICAL PHYSICS
The Journal of Chemical Physics publishes concise and definitive reports of significant research in methods and applications of chemical physics. Innovative research in traditional areas of chemical physics such as spectroscopy, kinetics, statistical mechanics, and quantum mechanics continue to be areas of interest to readers of JCP. In addition, newer areas such as polymers, materials, surfaces/interfaces, information theory, and systems of biological relevance are of increasing importance. Routine applications of chemical physics techniques may not be appropriate for JCP. Content is published online daily, collected into four monthly online and printed issues (48 issues per year); the journal is published by the American Institute of Physics. See: http://jcp.aip.org/
ABOUT AIP
The American Institute of Physics is a federation of 10 physical science societies representing more than 135,000 scientists, engineers, and educators and is one of the world's largest publishers of scientific information in the physical sciences. Offering partnership solutions for scientific societies and for similar organizations in science and engineering, AIP is a leader in the field of electronic publishing of scholarly journals. AIP publishes 12 journals (some of which are the most highly cited in their respective fields), two magazines, including its flagship publication Physics Today; and the AIP Conference Proceedings series. Its online publishing platform Scitation hosts nearly two million articles from more than 185 scholarly journals and other publications of 28 learned society publishers.

Jason Socrates Bardi | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.aip.org

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Hubble sees Neptune's mysterious shrinking storm
16.02.2018 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

nachricht Supermassive black hole model predicts characteristic light signals at cusp of collision
15.02.2018 | Rochester Institute of Technology

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

Im Focus: Interference as a new method for cooling quantum devices

Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters

Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...

Im Focus: Autonomous 3D scanner supports individual manufacturing processes

Let’s say the armrest is broken in your vintage car. As things stand, you would need a lot of luck and persistence to find the right spare part. But in the world of Industrie 4.0 and production with batch sizes of one, you can simply scan the armrest and print it out. This is made possible by the first ever 3D scanner capable of working autonomously and in real time. The autonomous scanning system will be on display at the Hannover Messe Preview on February 6 and at the Hannover Messe proper from April 23 to 27, 2018 (Hall 6, Booth A30).

Part of the charm of vintage cars is that they stopped making them long ago, so it is special when you do see one out on the roads. If something breaks or...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Fingerprints of quantum entanglement

16.02.2018 | Information Technology

'Living bandages': NUST MISIS scientists develop biocompatible anti-burn nanofibers

16.02.2018 | Health and Medicine

Hubble sees Neptune's mysterious shrinking storm

16.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>