Wednesday, March 27, 2013

3D Manipulation of Protein Microcrystals with Optical Tweezers for X-ray Crystallography

T Hikima, K Hashimoto, H Murakami, G Ueno, Y Kawano, K Hirata, K Hasegawa, T Kumasaka and M Yamamoto
In some synchrotron facilities such as SPring-8, X-ray microbeams have been utilized for protein crystallography, allowing users to collect diffraction data from a protein microcrystal. Usually, a protein crystal is picked up manually from a crystallization droplet. However it is very difficult to manipulate the protein microcrystals which are very small and fragile against a shock and changes of temperature and solvent condition. We have been developing an automatic system applying the optical tweezers with two lensed fiber probes to manipulate the fragile protein microcrystal. The system succeeded in trapping a crystal and levitating it onto the cryoloop in the solvent. X-ray diffraction measurement for the manipulated protein microcrystals indicated that laser irradiation and trap with 1064nm wavelength hardly affected the result of X-ray structural analysis.

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