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Struct Dyn. 2015 May 15;2(4):041710. doi: 10.1063/1.4921199. eCollection 2015 Jul.

The detection and subsequent volume optimization of biological nanocrystals.

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Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute , 700 Ellicott Street, Buffalo, New York 14203, USA.
Formulatrix, Inc. , 10 DeAngelo Drive, Bedford, Massachusetts 01730, USA.
Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, Center for Advanced Biotechnology and Medicine, and Northeast Structural Genomics Consortium, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey , 679 Hoes Lane, Piscataway, New Jersey 08854-8021, USA.


Identifying and then optimizing initial crystallization conditions is a prerequisite for macromolecular structure determination by crystallography. Improved technologies enable data collection on crystals that are difficult if not impossible to detect using visible imaging. The application of second-order nonlinear imaging of chiral crystals and ultraviolet two-photon excited fluorescence detection is shown to be applicable in a high-throughput manner to rapidly verify the presence of nanocrystals in crystallization screening conditions. It is noted that the nanocrystals are rarely seen without also producing microcrystals from other chemical conditions. A crystal volume optimization method is described and associated with a phase diagram for crystallization.

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