Precipitation phase diagrams can be rapidly constructed using dispensing-robot technology. These diagrams provide information that assists in optimization of crystal growth.
The growth of suitably sized protein crystals is essential for protein structure determination by X-ray crystallography. In general, crystals are grown using a trial-and-error method. However, these methods have been modified with the advent of microlitre dispensing-robot technology and of protocols that rapidly screen for crystal nucleation conditions. The use of one such automatic dispenser for mixing protein drops (1.3–2.0 µl in volume) of known concentration and pH with precipitating solutions (ejecting 2.0 µl droplets) containing salt is described here. The results of the experiments are relevant to a crystallization approach based on a two-step procedure: screening for the crystal nucleation step employing robotics followed by optimization of the crystallization conditions using incomplete factorial experimental design. Large crystals have successfully been obtained using quantities as small as 3.52 mg protein.
dye-decolorizing peroxidase; automatic dispensers; precipitation diagrams; microlitre crystallization; crystal improvement; diffraction data
A procedure for microseeding into nanolitre crystallization drops is described with selected successful examples.
A simple semi-automated microseeding procedure for nanolitre crystallization experiments is described. Firstly, a microseed stock solution is made from microcrystals using a Teflon bead. A dilution series of this microseed stock is then prepared and dispensed as 100 nl droplets into 96-well crystallization plates, facilitating the incorporation of seeding into high-throughput crystallization pipelines. This basic microseeding procedure has been modified to include additive-screening and cross-seeding methods. Five examples in which these techniques have been used successfully are described.
crystallization; crystal optimization; microseeding; additives
The Microcapillary Protein Crystallization System (MPCS) is used to successfully optimize protein crystals from 28 out of 29 tested proteins. Six protein structures have been determined from diffraction-ready crystals grown inside and harvested directly from the MPCS CrystalCards, which are compatible with the recently commercialized and automated MPCS Plug Maker instrument.
The Microcapillary Protein Crystallization System (MPCS) is a microfluidic, plug-based crystallization technology that generates X-ray diffraction-ready protein crystals in nanolitre volumes. In this study, 28 out of 29 (93%) proteins crystallized by traditional vapor diffusion experiments were successfully crystallized by chemical gradient optimization experiments using the MPCS technology. In total, 90 out of 120 (75%) protein/precipitant combinations leading to initial crystal hits from vapor diffusion experiments were successfully crystallized using MPCS technology. Many of the resulting crystals produced high-quality X-ray diffraction data, and six novel protein structures that were derived from crystals harvested from MPCS CrystalCards are reported.
protein crystals; microfluids; plugs; genomics
The Microcapillary Protein Crystallization System (MPCS) is a new protein-crystallization technology used to generate nanolitre-sized crystallization experiments for crystal screening and optimization. Using the MPCS, diffraction-ready crystals were grown in the plastic MPCS CrystalCard and were used to solve the structure of methionine-R-sulfoxide reductase.
The Microcapillary Protein Crystallization System (MPCS) embodies a new semi-automated plug-based crystallization technology which enables nanolitre-volume screening of crystallization conditions in a plasticware format that allows crystals to be easily removed for traditional cryoprotection and X-ray diffraction data collection. Protein crystals grown in these plastic devices can be directly subjected to in situ X-ray diffraction studies. The MPCS integrates the formulation of crystallization cocktails with the preparation of the crystallization experiments. Within microfluidic Teflon tubing or the microfluidic circuitry of a plastic CrystalCard, ∼10–20 nl volume droplets are generated, each representing a microbatch-style crystallization experiment with a different chemical composition. The entire protein sample is utilized in crystallization experiments. Sparse-matrix screening and chemical gradient screening can be combined in one comprehensive ‘hybrid’ crystallization trial. The technology lends itself well to optimization by high-granularity gradient screening using optimization reagents such as precipitation agents, ligands or cryoprotectants.
protein crystallization; Microcapillary Protein Crystallization System
Cocrystallization with a peptide, free-interface diffusion crystal chips and crystal dehydration were important in the production of diffraction-quality crystals of the Munc18c protein that helps to regulate membrane fusion.
The production of diffraction-quality crystals of Munc18c, a protein involved in regulating vesicular exocytosis in mammals, is reported. The diffraction resolution of Munc18c crystals was optimized by (i) cocrystallizing with a peptide fragment of the Munc18c functional binding partner syntaxin4, (ii) using nanolitre free-interface diffusion crystallization-screening chips and microlitre hanging-drop vapour diffusion and (iii) applying a post-crystallization dehydration treatment. Crystals belonging to the cubic space group P213, with unit-cell parameters a = b = c = 170.8 Å, α = β = γ = 90°, were generated that diffract to 3.7 Å resolution on a laboratory X-ray source.
Munc18c; syntaxin4; free-interface diffusion; dehydration
A marine diatom-infecting virus was crystallized using the hanging-drop vapour-diffusion method. The crystals belonged to space group P6322, with unit-cell parameters a = b = 448.67, c = 309.76 Å, and diffracted to 4.0 Å resolution.
Crystals of a diatom-infecting virus (CtenRNAV) that diffracted to a resolution of 4.0 Å were grown in a mixture of 2-methyl-2,4-pentanediol (MPD), calcium chloride and sodium acetate. It was possible to freeze the crystals directly at liquid-nitrogen temperature as the reservoir solution, which included about 30% MPD, acted as a cryoprotectant during X-ray diffraction data collection. A data set was collected from a single frozen crystal obtained using this method. The crystals belonged to space group P6322, with unit-cell parameters a = b = 448.67, c = 309.76 Å and two virus particles in the unit cell. The virus-particle orientation was determined using a rotation function and the virus-particle centre was estimated on the basis of crystallographic considerations. The packing of CtenRNAV in the crystal lattice was revealed by this preliminary crystallographic study.
CtenRNAV; diatom-infecting virus
A method for growing crystals on cryoloops or micromounts is described, and diffraction patterns of crystals of three proteins grown by both the new method and the conventional drop method are compared. The study investigates the steps for the automation of the crystal growth and manipulation process and describes the design of a tray for the method.
Protein crystals are usually grown in hanging or sitting drops and generally get transferred to a loop or micromount for cryocooling and data collection. This paper describes a method for growing crystals on cryoloops for easier manipulation of the crystals for data collection. This study also investigates the steps for the automation of this process and describes the design of a new tray for the method. The diffraction patterns and the structures of three proteins grown by both the new method and the conventional hanging-drop method are compared. The new setup is optimized for the automation of the crystal mounting process. Researchers could prepare nanolitre drops under ordinary laboratory conditions by growing the crystals directly in loops or micromounts. As has been pointed out before, higher levels of supersaturation can be obtained in very small volumes, and the new method may help in the exploration of additional crystallization conditions.
protein crystallography; automation; crystal growth; cryoloops; micromounts
In the assembly of microarrays and microarray-based chemical assays and enzymatic bioassays, most approaches use pins for contact spotting. Acoustic dispensing is a technology capable of nanoliter transfers by using acoustic energy to eject liquid sample from an open source well. Although typically used for well plate transfers, when applied to microarraying it avoids drawbacks of undesired physical contact with sample, difficulty in assembling multicomponent reactions on a chip by readdressing, a rigid mode of printing that lacks patterning capabilities, and time-consuming wash steps. We demonstrated the utility of acoustic dispensing by delivering human cathepsin L in a drop-on-drop fashion into individual 50-nanoliter, pre-spotted reaction volumes to activate enzyme reactions at targeted positions on a microarray. We generated variable-sized spots ranging from 200 to 750 μm (and higher), and handled the transfer of fluorescent bead suspensions with increasing source well concentrations of 0.1 to 10 ×108 beads/mL in a linear fashion. There are no tips that can clog and liquid dispensing CVs are generally below 5%. This platform expands the toolbox for generating analytical arrays and meets needs associated with spatially-addressed assembly of multicomponent microarrays on the nanoliter scale.
Microarray; acoustic dispensing; pin spotting; no-contact dispensing; assay development; lab on a chip; screening
When samples having volumes characteristic of protein crystals are plunge cooled in liquid nitrogen or propane, most cooling occurs in the cold gas layer above the liquid. By removing this cold gas layer, cooling rates for small samples and modest plunge velocities are increased to 1.5 × 104 K s−1, with increases of a factor of 100 over current best practice possible with 10 μm samples. Glycerol concentrations required to eliminate water crystallization in protein-free aqueous mixtures drop from ∼28% w/v to as low as 6% w/v. These results will allow many crystals to go from crystallization tray to liquid cryogen to X-ray beam without cryoprotectants. By reducing or eliminating the need for cryoprotectants in growth solutions, they may also simplify the search for crystallization conditions and for optimal screens. The results presented here resolve many puzzles, such as why plunge cooling in liquid nitrogen or propane has, until now, not yielded significantly better diffraction quality than gas-stream cooling.
The [NiFe]-hydrogenase maturation protein HypE was purified and crystallized. Crystals of HypE suitable for data collection diffracted to 1.55 Å resolution.
The hydrogenase maturation protein HypE is involved in the biosynthesis of the CN ligands of the active-site iron of [NiFe] hydrogenases using carbamoylphosphate as a substrate. Here, the crystallization and preliminary crystallographic analysis of HypE from Thermococcus kodakaraensis KOD1 are reported. Crystals of HypE (338 amino acids, 35.9 kDa) have been obtained by the sitting-drop vapour-diffusion method using 2-methyl-2,4-pentanediol (MPD) as a precipitant. The crystals belong to space group P21212, with unit-cell parameters a = 88.3, b = 45.8, c = 75.1 Å. There is one HypE molecule in the asymmetric unit. A complete native X-ray diffraction data set was collected to a maximum resolution of 1.55 Å at 100 K.
[NiFe] hydrogenase; maturation; CN-ligand synthesis
An optically, UV and X-ray transparent crystallization plate suitable for in situ analysis has been developed. The plate uses contact line pinning rather than wells to confine the liquids.
X-ray transparent crystallization plates based upon a novel drop-pinning technology provide a flexible, simple and inexpensive approach to protein crystallization and screening. The plates consist of open cells sealed top and bottom by thin optically, UV and X-ray transparent films. The plates do not need wells or depressions to contain liquids. Instead, protein drops and reservoir solution are held in place by rings with micrometre dimensions that are patterned onto the bottom film. These rings strongly pin the liquid contact lines, thereby improving drop shape and position uniformity, and thus crystallization reproducibility, and simplifying automated image analysis of drop contents. The same rings effectively pin solutions containing salts, proteins, cryoprotectants, oils, alcohols and detergents. Strong pinning by rings allows the plates to be rotated without liquid mixing to 90° for X-ray data collection or to be inverted for hanging-drop crystallization. The plates have the standard SBS format and are compatible with standard liquid-handling robots.
protein crystallization; crystallization plates; drop pinning; high-throughput screening
The hexameric Cu-containing nitrite reductase and its electron-donor protein pseudoazurin have been cocrystallized using the hanging-drop vapour-diffusion method. X-ray diffraction data were collected to 3.3 Å resolution using a synchrotron-radiation source.
The complex between Cu-containing nitrite reductase (HdNIR) and its electron-donor protein pseudoazurin (HdPAz) from Hyphomicrobium denitrificans has been crystallized. The crystals were obtained from a mixture of the two proteins using the hanging-drop vapour-diffusion method in the presence of polyethylene glycol (PEG) and 2-methyl-2,4-pentanediol (MPD) as precipitants. SDS–PAGE analysis demonstrated that the crystals contained both proteins. The X-ray diffraction experiment was carried out at SPring-8 and diffraction data were collected to 3.3 Å resolution. The crystals were tetragonal (space group P41212), with unit-cell parameters a = b = 130.39, c = 505.55 Å. Preliminary analysis indicated that there was one HdNIR and at least two HdPAz molecules in the asymmetric unit of the crystal.
Cu-containing nitrite reductases; pseudoazurins; electron-transfer complexes
Three crystallization methods, including crystallization in the presence of a semi-solid agarose gel, top-seeded solution growth (TSSG) and a large-scale hanging-drop method, have previously been presented. In this study, crystallization has been further evaluated in the presence of a semi-solid agarose gel by crystallizing additional proteins. A novel crystallization method combining TSSG and the large-scale hanging-drop method has also been developed.
Three crystallization methods for growing large high-quality protein crystals, i.e. crystallization in the presence of a semi-solid agarose gel, top-seeded solution growth (TSSG) and a large-scale hanging-drop method, have previously been presented. In this study the effectiveness of crystallization in the presence of a semi-solid agarose gel has been further evaluated by crystallizing additional proteins in the presence of 2.0% (w/v) agarose gel, resulting in complete gelification with high mechanical strength. In TSSG the seed crystals are hung by a seed holder protruding from the top of the growth vessel to prevent polycrystallization. In the large-scale hanging-drop method, a cut pipette tip was used to maintain large-scale droplets consisting of protein–precipitant solution. Here a novel crystallization method that combines TSSG and the large-scale hanging-drop method is reported. A large and single crystal of lysozyme was obtained by this method.
semi-solid agarose gels; top-seeded solution growth; large-scale hanging-drop method; X-ray crystallography; neutron crystallography
The crystallization of the six-subunit Na+-NQR complex from V. cholerae is reported.
The Na+-translocating NADH:quinone oxidoreductase (Na+-NQR) from the human pathogen Vibrio cholerae couples the exergonic oxidation of NADH by membrane-bound quinone to Na+ translocation across the membrane. Na+-NQR consists of six different subunits (NqrA–NqrF) and contains a [2Fe–2S] cluster, a noncovalently bound FAD, a noncovalently bound riboflavin, two covalently bound FMNs and potentially Q8 as cofactors. Initial crystallization of the entire Na+-NQR complex was achieved by the sitting-drop method using a nanolitre dispenser. Optimization of the crystallization conditions yielded flat yellow-coloured crystals with dimensions of up to 200 × 80 × 20 µm. The crystals diffracted to 4.0 Å resolution and belonged to space group P21, with unit-cell parameters a = 94, b = 146, c = 105 Å, α = γ = 90, β = 111°.
Na+-translocating NADH:quinone oxidoreductase; Na+-NQR; Vibrio cholerae; membrane-protein complexes
Electron microscopy of two-dimensional (2D) crystals has demonstrated potential for structure determination of membrane proteins. Technical limitations in large-scale crystallization screens have, however, prevented a major breakthrough in the routine application of this technology. Dialysis is generally used for detergent removal and reconstitution of the protein into a lipid bilayer, and devices for testing numerous conditions in parallel are not readily available. Furthermore, the small size of resulting 2D crystals requires electron microscopy to evaluate the results and automation of the necessary steps is essential to achieve a reasonable throughput. We have designed a crystallization block, using standard microplate dimensions, by which 96 unique samples can be dialyzed simultaneously against 96 different buffers and have demonstrated that the rate of detergent dialysis is comparable to those obtained with conventional dialysis devices. A liquid-handling robot was employed to set up 2D crystallization trials with the membrane proteins CopA from Archaeoglobus fulgidus and light-harvesting complex II (LH2) from Rhodobacter sphaeroides. For CopA, 1-week of dialysis yielded tubular crystals and, for LH2, large and well-ordered vesicular 2D crystals were obtained after 24-hours, illustrating the feasibility of this approach. Combined with a high-throughput procedure for preparation of EM-grids and automation of the subsequent negative staining step, the crystallization block offers a novel pipeline that promises to speed up considerably large-scale screening of 2D crystallization and to increase the likelihood of producing well-ordered crystals for analysis by electron crystallography.
Two-dimensional (2D) crystals; membrane proteins; electron crystallography; high-throughput screening; membrane protein reconstitution; negative staining; 96-well format; crystallization block; dialysis block
A major advance in protein structure determination has been the advent of nanolitre-scale crystallization and (in a high-throughput environment) the development of robotic systems for storing and imaging crystallization trials. Most of these trials are carried out in 96-well (or higher density) plates and managing them is a significant information management challenge. We describe xtalPiMS, a web-based application for the management and monitoring of crystallization trials. xtalPiMS has a user-interface layer based on the standards of the Protein Information Management System (PiMS) and a database layer which links the crystallization trial images to the meta-data associated with a particular crystallization trial. The user interface has been optimized for the efficient monitoring of high-throughput environments with three different automated imagers and work to support a fourth imager is in progress, but it can even be of use without robotics. The database can either be a PiMS database or a legacy database for which a suitable mapping layer has been developed.
Laboratory Information Management Systems (LIMS); Protein crystallization; Robotic imagers; Java web application; Data management and databases
Liquid perfluorocarbon droplets have been of interest in the medical acoustics community for use as acoustically activated particles for tissue occlusion, imaging, and therapeutics. To date, methods to produce liquid perfluorocarbon droplets typically result in a polydisperse size distribution. Since the threshold of acoustic activation is a function of diameter, there would be benefit from a monodisperse population to preserve uniformity in acoustic activation parameters. Through the use of a microfluidic device with flow focusing technology, the production of droplets of perfluoropentane with a uniform size distribution is demonstrated. Stability studies indicate that these droplets are stable in storage for at least two weeks. Acoustic studies illustrate the thresholds of vaporization as a function of droplet diameter, and a logarithmic relationship is observed between acoustic pressure and vaporization threshold within the size ranges studied. Droplets of uniform size have very little variability in acoustic vaporization threshold. Results indicate that microfluidic technology can enable greater manufacturing control of phase change perfluorocarbons for acoustic droplet vaporization applications.
acoustic droplet vaporization; ultrasound; monodisperse; perfluoropentane; microfluidic
Juvenile hormones (JHs) control a diversity of crucial life events in insects. In Lepidoptera which major agricultural pests belong to, JH signaling is critically controlled by a species-specific high-affinity, low molecular weight JH-binding protein (JHBP) in hemolymph, which transports JH from the site of its synthesis to target tissues. Hence, JHBP is expected to be an excellent target for the development of novel specific insect growth regulators (IGRs) and insecticides. A better understanding of the structural biology of JHBP should pave the way for the structure-based drug design of such compounds. Here, we report the crystal structure of the silkworm Bombyx mori JHBP in complex with two molecules of 2-methyl-2,4-pentanediol (MPD), one molecule (MPD1) bound in the JH-binding pocket while the other (MPD2) in a second cavity. Detailed comparison with the apo-JHBP and JHBP-JH II complex structures previously reported by us led to a number of intriguing findings. First, the JH-binding pocket changes its size in a ligand-dependent manner due to flexibility of the gate α1 helix. Second, MPD1 mimics interactions of the epoxide moiety of JH previously observed in the JHBP-JH complex, and MPD can compete with JH in binding to the JH-binding pocket. We also confirmed that methoprene, which has an MPD-like structure, inhibits the complex formation between JHBP and JH while the unepoxydated JH III (methyl farnesoate) does not. These findings may open the door to the development of novel IGRs targeted against JHBP. Third, binding of MPD to the second cavity of JHBP induces significant conformational changes accompanied with a cavity expansion. This finding, together with MPD2-JHBP interaction mechanism identified in the JHBP-MPD complex, should provide important guidance in the search for the natural ligand of the second cavity.
Metering liquid reagents into reaction mixtures in a controlled and
reproducible manner has often been a problem in synthetic
chemistry. Carrying out the real simultaneous addition of two or
more liquid reagents (concurrent additions) is even more inconvenient.
Difficulties increase when addition volumes become small,
when addition times become long, or when the reagents are corrosive
or air-sensitive. We have constructed and tested an inexpensive,
automated device for the slow, precise delivery of liquid reagents
into laboratory-scale reaction mixtures. Controlled by a standard
personal computer, this slow adder can accommodate liquid
volumes from hundreds of microlitres to litres and addition times
from minutes to days. Its glass and Teflon construction makes it
useful for nearly all reagents. By using multiple slow adders, true
concurrent addition of several liquids can be easily achieved.
P. furiosus PF2050 has been crystallized. Diffraction data were collected to 1.56 Å resolution using synchrotron X-rays.
Pyrococcus furiosus PF2050, a putative uncharacterized protein, was overexpressed in Escherichia coli, purified and crystallized at 298 K using 2-methyl-2,4-pentanediol as the precipitant. X-ray diffraction data were collected to a resolution of 1.56 Å at 100 K using synchrotron X-rays. The crystal was found to belong to space group P21, with unit-cell parameters a = 41.76, b = 66.43, c = 46.38 Å, β = 96.62°. The asymmetric unit contained one subunit of PF2050, with a crystal volume per protein weight (V
M) of 2.21 Å3 Da−1 and a solvent content of 44.41%.
PF2050; Pyrococcus furiosus; DUF2666 family
Recently, we reported a unique approach to preserve the activity of some proteins in the presence of the denaturing agent, Sodium Dodecyl Sulfate (SDS). This was made possible by addition of the amphipathic solvent 2,4-Methyl-2-PentaneDiol (MPD), used as protecting but also as refolding agent for these proteins. Although the persistence of the protein activity in the SDS/MPD mixture was clearly established, preservation of their structure was only speculative until now.
In this paper, a detailed X-ray study addresses the pending question. Crystals of hen egg-white lysozyme were grown for the first time in the presence of MPD and denaturing concentrations of SDS. Depending on crystallization conditions, tetragonal crystals in complex with either SDS or MPD were collected. The conformation of both structures was very similar to the native lysozyme and the obtained complexes of SDS-lysozyme and MPD-lysozyme give some insights in the interplay of protein-SDS and protein-MPD interactions.
This study clearly established the preservation of the enzyme structure in a SDS/MPD mixture. It is hypothesized that high concentrations of MPD would change the properties of SDS and lower or avoid interactions between the denaturant and the protein. These structural data therefore support the hypothesis that MPD avoids disruption of the enzyme structure by SDS and can protect proteins from SDS denaturation.
The phase transition of a nematic liquid crystal containing a push-pull azobenzene dye could be induced efficiently during irradiation with visible light. The dynamical disorganizing effect of the push-pull azobenzene dye on the liquid crystalline order through its trans-cis-trans photoisomerizaion cycle under visible light was contributed to the efficient phase transition. Then, the effects of light irradiation on the motion of small objects dispersed in the liquid crystals containing the push-pull azobenzene were explored, and the manipulation and assembly of those objects were successfully achieved in the nematic phase but also in the smectic phase. The combination of the photo-controlled dynamical change in the liquid crystalline order and the intrinsic self-assembly property of a liquid crystal is promising for use in technologies that require not only the organization of small objects but also the photo-driving of nano- and micro-sized mechanical materials.
A ternary complex of the proteinase inhibitor (BTCI) with trypsin and chymotrypsin was crystallized and its crystal structure was solved by molecular replacement.
A ternary complex of the black-eyed pea trypsin and chymotrypsin inhibitor (BTCI) with trypsin and chymotrypsin was crystallized by the sitting-drop vapour-diffusion method with 0.1 M HEPES pH 7.5, 10%(w/v) polyethylene glycol 6000 and 5%(v/v) 2-methyl-2,4-pentanediol as precipitant. BTCI is a small protein with 83 amino-acid residues isolated from Vigna unguiculata seeds and is able to inhibit trypsin and chymotrypsin simultaneously by forming a stable ternary complex. X-ray data were collected from a single crystal of the trypsin–BTCI–chymotrypsin ternary complex to 2.7 Å resolution under cryogenic conditions. The structure of the ternary complex was solved by molecular replacement using the crystal structures of the BTCI–trypsin binary complex (PDB code 2g81) and chymotrypsin (PDB code 4cha) as search models.
proteinase inhibitors; Bowman–Birk inhibitors
This review presents a deep insight into the Surface Generated Acoustic Wave (SGAW) technology for biosensing applications, based on more than 40 years of technological and scientific developments. In the last 20 years, SGAWs have been attracting the attention of the biochemical scientific community, due to the fact that some of these devices - Shear Horizontal Surface Acoustic Wave (SH-SAW), Surface Transverse Wave (STW), Love Wave (LW), Flexural Plate Wave (FPW), Shear Horizontal Acoustic Plate Mode (SH-APM) and Layered Guided Acoustic Plate Mode (LG-APM) - have demonstrated a high sensitivity in the detection of biorelevant molecules in liquid media. In addition, complementary efforts to improve the sensing films have been done during these years. All these developments have been made with the aim of achieving, in a future, a highly sensitive, low cost, small size, multi-channel, portable, reliable and commercially established SGAW biosensor. A setup with these features could significantly contribute to future developments in the health, food and environmental industries. The second purpose of this work is to describe the state-of-the-art of SGAW biosensors for the detection of pathogens, being this topic an issue of extremely importance for the human health. Finally, the review discuses the commercial availability, trends and future challenges of the SGAW biosensors for such applications.
biosensors; Surface Acoustic Wave (SAW); Love Wave; Acoustic Plate Modes (APM); pathogen agents
An experimental apparatus combining Raman spectroscopy with acoustic levitation, Raman acoustic levitation spectroscopy (RALS), is investigated in the field of physical and chemical analytics. Whereas acoustic levitation enables the contactless handling of microsized samples, Raman spectroscopy offers the advantage of a noninvasive method without complex sample preparation. After carrying out some systematic tests to probe the sensitivity of the technique to drop size, shape, and position, RALS has been successfully applied in monitoring sample dilution and preconcentration, evaporation, crystallization, an acid–base reaction, and analytes in a surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy colloidal suspension.
FigureWe have systematically investigated the analytical potential of Raman spectroscopy of samples in acoustically levitated drops.
Raman spectroscopy; Acoustic levitation; Drop evaporation; Crystallization; Microtitration