Scientists at the Arizona State University and the Max Planck Institute for Medical Research have developed an apparatus and methodology for room temperature biological structure determination, using x-ray diffraction from randomly oriented biological microcrystals carried in a flowing microscopic stream. The use of this slowly flowing stream for crystal delivery resulted in extremely high-throughput delivery of crystals into the X-ray beam.
Moreover, by embedding the crystals in the high-viscosity carrier stream, high-resolution room-temperature studies could be conducted at atmospheric pressure using the unattenuated X-ray beam, thus permitting the analysis of small or weakly scattering crystals. This has been achieved thanks to a high-viscosity extrusion injector, especially developed for that purpose. The method and apparatus have been used to record diffraction images from serial x-ray exposures of 100 ms duration at 10 per second (still images) or 1 per second (rotation images) from micron-sized lysozyme crystals, embedded in a 35 um diameter fluid free stream of lipidic cubic phase, flowing through an x-ray spot of the Swiss Light Source, using less than half a milligram of protein crystals. In summary, our scientists have developed an apparatus and methodology, which allow high throughput collection of x-ray diffraction data at room temperature. We are now looking for a licensing partner for this technology.
PCT application filed: PCT/EP2015/000208; US application Nr. 15/112,350
Botha S., Nass K., Barends T.R., Kabsch W., Latz B., Dworkowski F., Foucar L., Panepucci E., Wang M., Shoeman R.L., Schlichting I., Doak R.B. (2015): Room-temperature serial crystallography at synchrotron X-ray sources using slowly flowing free-standing high-viscosity microstreams. Acta Crystallogr D Biol Crystallogr. 71(Pt 2):387-97. doi: 10.1107/S1399004714026327.