Fabrication of X-ray compatible microfluidic platforms for protein crystallization

Sudipto Guha, Sarah L. Perry, Ashtamurthy S. Pawate, Paul J.A. Kenis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper reports a method for fabricating multilayer microfluidic protein crystallization platforms using different materials to achieve X-ray transparency and compatibility with crystallization reagents. To validate this approach, three soluble proteins, lysozyme, thaumatin, and ribonuclease A were crystallized on-chip, followed by on-chip diffraction data collection. We also report a chip with an array of wells for screening different conditions that consume a minimal amount of protein solution as compared to traditional screening methods. A large number of high quality isomorphous protein crystals can be grown in the wells, after which slices of X-ray data can be collected from many crystals still residing within the wells. Complete protein structures can be obtained by merging these slices of data followed by further processing with crystallography software. This approach of using an X-ray transparent chip for screening, crystal growth, and X-ray data collection enables room temperature data collection from many crystals mounted in parallel, which thus eliminates crystal handling and minimizes radiation damage to the crystals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalSensors and Actuators, B: Chemical
StatePublished - Nov 2012


  • Crystallography
  • Microfabrication
  • Protein crystallization
  • Structure determination
  • X-ray transparency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Instrumentation
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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