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Protein crystals and their growthRecent results on the associations between protein molecules in crystal lattices, crystal-solution surface energy, elastic properties, strength, and spontaneous crystal cracking are reviewed and discussed. In addition, some basic approaches to understanding the solubility of proteins are followed by an overview of crystal nucleation and growth. It is argued that variability of mixing in batch crystallization may be a source of the variation in the number of crystals ultimately appearing in the sample. The frequency at which new molecules join a crystal lattice is measured by the kinetic coefficient and is related to the observed crystal growth rate. Numerical criteria used to discriminate diffusion- and kinetic-limited growth are discussed on this basis. Finally, the creation of defects is discussed with an emphasis on the role of impurities and convection on macromolecular crystal perfection.
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Chernov, Alexander A.
(NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville AL United States)
Date Acquired
August 21, 2013
Publication Date
April 1, 2003
Publication Information
Publication: Journal of structural biology
Volume: 142
Issue: 1
ISSN: 1047-8477
Subject Category
Life Sciences (General)
Distribution Limits
Review, Tutorial

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