The Automation of Protein Crystal Presentation for X Ray Diffraction Experiments using Standing Acoustic Waves in a Microfluidic Chip Environment

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As the pressure continues to grow on Diamond and the world’s synchrotrons for higher throughput of diffraction experiments, new and novel techniques are required for presenting these micron dimension crystals to the X ray beam. Currently this task is a very labour intensive activity and one that is primarily a serial process rather than parallel one. For reference the measurements typically take milliseconds and sample preparation and presentation can take reduce throughput down to 4 measurements an hour. The system proposed here the limiting parameter will be the time to take a measurement.Using a Piezo device that has been integrated into a microfluidic chip design a SAW wave can be set up laterally across a micro fluidic channel which will see the crystal align at a node midway across the channel. By controlling the flow along the channel the crystal can then be presented to the X ray beam at a known and repeatable position. A process, by its nature, facilitating automation as well. The cell incorporates into its design a window that is X ray compatible in that it will not attenuate the Xray beam and subsequently the diffraction pattern obtained from the sample.

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Journal: TechConnect Briefs
Volume: 3, Biotech, Biomaterials and Biomedical: TechConnect Briefs 2015
Published: June 14, 2015
Pages: 194 - 197
Industry sector: Sensors, MEMS, Electronics
Topic: Micro & Bio Fluidics, Lab-on-Chip
ISBN: 978-1-4987-4729-5