We have developed novel techniques for protein crystallization by femtosecond laser and solution stirring. Femtosecond laser technique enables to exceedingly increase the crystallization probability. It induces the nucleation at low supersaturated solution where spontaneous nucleation dose not occur. Because the laser-induced crystals grow slowly at the low supersaturated solution, the crystals exhibit high crystallinity. Solution stirring technique also contributes the improvement of protein crystal quality. We have succeeded in obtaining high-quality crystals of various proteins by this technique, and the precise structural information of the protein molecules from the X-ray analysis. Furthermore, we have developed a new device for manipulating protein crystals, which directly captures a crystal in solution by an adhesive. The method realizes convenient capture of protein crystals without causing mechanical damage and enables to acquire X-ray diffraction data with lower background noise. These techniques are able to accelerate structural biology and subsequent structure-based drug discoveries.
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