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Lab-on-a-Chip Based Protein CrystallizationWe are developing a novel technique with which we will grow protein crystals in very small volumes, utilizing chip-based, microfluidic ("LabChip") technology. This development, which is a collaborative effort between NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center and Caliper Technologies Corporation, promises a breakthrough in the field of protein crystal growth. Our initial results obtained from two model proteins, Lysozyme and Thaumatin, show that it is feasible to dispense and adequately mix protein and precipitant solutions on a nano-liter scale. The mixtures have shown crystal growth in volumes in the range of 10 nanoliters to 5 microliters. In addition, large diffraction quality crystals were obtained by this method. X-ray data from these crystals were shown to be of excellent quality. Our future efforts will include the further development of protein crystal growth with LabChip(trademark) technology for more complex systems. We will initially address the batch growth method, followed by the vapor diffusion method and the liquid-liquid diffusion method. The culmination of these chip developments is to lead to an on orbit protein crystallization facility on the International Space Station. Structural biologists will be invited to utilize the on orbit Iterative Biological Crystallization facility to grow high quality macromolecular crystals in microgravity.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
vanderWoerd, Mark J. (Universities Space Research Association Huntsville, AL United States)
Brasseur, Michael M. (Caliper Technologies Corp. United States)
Spearing, Scott F. (Morgan Research Corp. Huntsville, AL United States)
Whitaker, Ann F.
Date Acquired
August 20, 2013
Publication Date
January 26, 2001
Subject Category
Solid-State Physics
Meeting Information
SmallTalk 2001Conference(San Diego, CA)
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.