Investigating the Effect of Impurities on Macromolecule Crystal Growth in Microgravity

Edward H. Snell, Russell A. Judge, Lisa Crawford, Elizabeth L. Forsythe, Marc L. Pusey, Michael Sportiello, Paul Todd, Henry Bellamy, Jeff Lovelace, John M. Cassanto, Gloria E.O. Borgstahl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Chicken egg-white lysozyme (CEWL) crystals were grown in microgravity and on the ground in the presence of various amounts of a naturally occurring lysozyme dimer impurity. No significant favorable differences in impurity incorporation between microgravity and ground crystal samples were observed. At low impurity concentration the microgravity crystals preferentially incorporated the dimer. The presence of the dimer in the crystallization solutions in microgravity reduced crystal size, increased mosaicity, and reduced the signal-to-noise ratio of the X-ray data. Microgravity samples proved more sensitive to impurity. Accurate indexing of the reflections proved critical to the X-ray analysis. The largest crystals with the best X-ray diffraction properties were grown from pure solution in microgravity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)151-158
Number of pages8
JournalCrystal Growth and Design
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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