Growth Rate of Protein Crystals under Microgravity

Int. J. Microgravity Sci. Appl. 2012p106
Author
K. TSUKAMOTO
Organization
Department of Earth and Planetary Materials Science, Graduate School of Science, Tohoku University
Abstract
To find out important factors controlling crystal growth rate and perfection of protein crystals in microgravity, a microgravity experiment using a Foton-M3 has been conducted in September 2007. Using seed crystals at constant supersaturation, the growth rate was successfully measured ex-situ for the first time to be 0.7-1.5 times larger than the rate under gravity. The result was very surprising because large reduction of growth rate under reduced gravity has been expected. This experiment will be continued as a “NanoStep” project, which will be started on 21st, July 2012.
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