Monday, December 9, 2013

Crystal Growth of Lysozyme Controlled by Laser Trapping

Jing-Ru Tu, Atsushi Miura, Ken-ichi Yuyama, Hiroshi Masuhara, and Teruki Sugiyama

We demonstrate the growth of a tetragonal crystal of hen egg-white lysozyme (HEWL) in D2O buffer solution controlled by laser trapping with a focused continuous-wave (CW) near-infrared (NIR) laser beam. The focal spot was located at 10 μm away from the edge of the target crystal that was generated spontaneously, and the crystal growth was observed although the focal spot size was much smaller than the distance. The growth rate of (101) and {110} faces of the tetragonal crystal was examined with various laser powers and polarizations. The rate observed under the irradiation was much different from those in spontaneous growth, namely, the growth rate of the {110} face showed a large decrease or increase depending on the irradiation time. The dynamics and mechanism of this unusual crystal growth behavior is discussed from the viewpoint of a large stable domain formation of the HEWL liquidlike clusters through liquid nucleation and growth and by considering the anisotropy of the cluster domain.

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