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Curr Opin Drug Discov Devel. 2003 Nov;6(6):848-54.

Protein crystallization: from HTS to kilogram-scale.

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Altus Biologics Inc, Process Development, 625 Putnam Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.


The first experiments on protein crystallization started randomly during the 19th century. This technique has been widely used for the determination of the tertiary structure of proteins since the 1950s, when an understanding of the physics of protein crystallization began to emerge. In the 1980s and 1990s, research focused on the study of protein crystal growth processes in microgravity environments, which were created in space shuttle experiments. High-throughput screening (HTS) systems were developed that later found broader laboratory applications. The combination of HTS with an engineering approach opens new opportunities for the protein crystallization process to become a robust, scalable, reproducible and economically viable industrial unit operation.

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