Matching Items (4)

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Capacitive Sensor for the Detection of Microdroplets in Serial Femtosecond Crystallography

Description

Microfluidic devices represent a growing technology in the world of analytical chemistry. Serial femtosecond crystallography (SFX) utilizes microfluidic devices to generate droplets of an aqueous buffer containing protein crystals, which

Microfluidic devices represent a growing technology in the world of analytical chemistry. Serial femtosecond crystallography (SFX) utilizes microfluidic devices to generate droplets of an aqueous buffer containing protein crystals, which are then fired out as a jet in the beam of an X-ray free electron laser (XFEL). A crucial part of the device is its method of droplet detection. This project presents a design for a capacitive sensor that uses a unique electrode configuration to detect the difference in capacitance between the aqueous and oil phases. This design was developed using MATLAB and COMSOL Multiphysics simulations and printed using high-resolution 3D printing. Results show that this design can successfully distinguish between the two immiscible liquids, confirming it as a possible detection method in future SFX experiments.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2021-05

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Time-resolved crystallography using X-ray free-electron laser

Description

Photosystem II (PSII) is a large protein-cofactor complex. The first step in

photosynthesis involves the harvesting of light energy from the sun by the antenna (made

of pigments) of the PSII trans-membrane

Photosystem II (PSII) is a large protein-cofactor complex. The first step in

photosynthesis involves the harvesting of light energy from the sun by the antenna (made

of pigments) of the PSII trans-membrane complex. The harvested excitation energy is

transferred from the antenna complex to the reaction center of the PSII, which leads to a

light-driven charge separation event, from water to plastoquinone. This phenomenal

process has been producing the oxygen that maintains the oxygenic environment of our

planet for the past 2.5 billion years.

The oxygen molecule formation involves the light-driven extraction of 4 electrons

and protons from two water molecules through a multistep reaction, in which the Oxygen

Evolving Center (OEC) of PSII cycles through 5 different oxidation states, S0 to S4.

Unraveling the water-splitting mechanism remains as a grant challenge in the field of

photosynthesis research. This requires the development of an entirely new capability, the

ability to produce molecular movies. This dissertation advances a novel technique, Serial

Femtosecond X-ray crystallography (SFX), into a new realm whereby such time-resolved

molecular movies may be attained. The ultimate goal is to make a “molecular movie” that

reveals the dynamics of the water splitting mechanism using time-resolved SFX (TRSFX)

experiments and the uniquely enabling features of X-ray Free-Electron Laser

(XFEL) for the study of biological processes.

This thesis presents the development of SFX techniques, including development of

new methods to analyze millions of diffraction patterns (~100 terabytes of data per XFEL

experiment) with the goal of solving the X-ray structures in different transition states.

ii

The research comprises significant advancements to XFEL software packages (e.g.,

Cheetah and CrystFEL). Initially these programs could evaluate only 8-10% of all the

data acquired successfully. This research demonstrates that with manual optimizations,

the evaluation success rate was enhanced to 40-50%. These improvements have enabled

TR-SFX, for the first time, to examine the double excited state (S3) of PSII at 5.5-Å. This

breakthrough demonstrated the first indication of conformational changes between the

ground (S1) and the double-excited (S3) states, a result fully consistent with theoretical

predictions.

The power of the TR-SFX technique was further demonstrated with proof-of principle

experiments on Photoactive Yellow Protein (PYP) micro-crystals that high

temporal (10-ns) and spatial (1.5-Å) resolution structures could be achieved.

In summary, this dissertation research heralds the development of the TR-SFX

technique, protocols, and associated data analysis methods that will usher into practice a

new era in structural biology for the recording of ‘molecular movies’ of any biomolecular

process.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2015

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Methods and instrumentation of sample injection for XFEL experiments

Description

ABSTRACT

X-Ray crystallography and NMR are two major ways of achieving atomic

resolution of structure determination for macro biomolecules such as proteins. Recently, new developments of hard X-ray pulsed free electron laser

ABSTRACT

X-Ray crystallography and NMR are two major ways of achieving atomic

resolution of structure determination for macro biomolecules such as proteins. Recently, new developments of hard X-ray pulsed free electron laser XFEL opened up new possibilities to break the dilemma of radiation dose and spatial resolution in diffraction imaging by outrunning radiation damage with ultra high brightness femtosecond X-ray pulses, which is so short in time that the pulse terminates before atomic motion starts. A variety of experimental techniques for structure determination of macro biomolecules is now available including imaging of protein nanocrystals, single particles such as viruses, pump-probe experiments for time-resolved nanocrystallography, and snapshot wide- angle x-ray scattering (WAXS) from molecules in solution. However, due to the nature of the "diffract-then-destroy" process, each protein crystal would be destroyed once

probed. Hence a new sample delivery system is required to replenish the target crystal at a high rate. In this dissertation, the sample delivery systems for the application of XFELs to biomolecular imaging will be discussed and the severe challenges related to the delivering of macroscopic protein crystal in a stable controllable way with minimum waste of sample and maximum hit rate will be tackled with several different development of injector designs and approaches. New developments of the sample delivery system such as liquid mixing jet also opens up new experimental methods which gives opportunities to study of the chemical dynamics in biomolecules in a molecular structural level. The design and characterization of the system will be discussed along with future possible developments and applications. Finally, LCP injector will be discussed which is critical for the success in various applications.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2014

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Life In Motion: Visualizing Biomacromolecules By Time-Resolved Serial Femtosecond Crystallography

Description

Time-resolved serial femtosecond crystallography is an emerging method that allows for structural discovery to be performed on biomacromolecules during their dynamic trajectory through a reaction pathway after activation. This

Time-resolved serial femtosecond crystallography is an emerging method that allows for structural discovery to be performed on biomacromolecules during their dynamic trajectory through a reaction pathway after activation. This is performed by triggering a reaction on an ensemble of molecules in nano- or microcrystals and then using femtosecond X-ray laser pulses produced by an X-ray free electron laser to collect near-instantaneous data on the crystal. A full data set can be collected by merging a sufficient number of these patterns together and multiple data sets can be collected at different points along the reaction pathway by manipulating the delay time between reaction initiation and the probing X-rays. In this way, these ‘snapshot’ structures can be viewed in series to make a molecular movie, allowing for atomic visualization of a molecule in action and, thereby, a structural basis for the mechanism and function of a given biomacromolecule.

This dissertation presents results towards this end, including the successful implementations of the first diffusive mixing chemoactivated reactions and ultrafast dynamics in the femtosecond regime. The primary focus is on photosynthetic membrane proteins and enzymatic drug targets, in pursuit of strategies for sustainable energy and medical advancement by gaining understanding of the structure-function relationships evolved in nature. In particular, photosystem I, photosystem II, the complex of photosystem I and ferredoxin, and 3-deoxy-D-manno-2-octulosonate-8-phosphate synthase are reported on, from purification and isolation, to crystallogenesis, to experimental design and data collection and subsequent interpretation of results and novel insights gained.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2018