Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed a single-use chip for the identification of protein crystals using X-ray based instruments.
X-ray crystallography has allowed researchers to determine high-resolution protein crystals. However, previous delivery of micro-crystal samples has been a challenge due to the delivery methods used. There are mainly two delivery methods used: liquid jets or fixed targets. Devices that utilize liquid jets have low hit rates, need large protein samples, and are not compatible with a variety of crystallography methods. A fixed target, polymer-based delivery method has been developed for both synchrotron and XFEL sources.
Researchers at the University of California Davis have developed a microfluidic, polymer-based chip for serial protein crystallography. This allows for improved in-situ X-ray diffraction protein characterization and signal detection in order to minimize the protein sample needed. The design offers a variety of features, such as the crystallography of much smaller crystals, thinner support films, and the ability to minimize signal noise. It can also be used with laboratory scale, 2nd and 3rd generation X-ray sources, and potentially XFELs.
X-ray, crystallography, protein characterization, delivery methods, chip device