MicroMAX will open up new possibilities in the area of structural biology making it possible to study proteins in 3D and to follow them in time. MicroMAX will allow studying the molecules that are most interesting but most difficult to study because they only provide microcrystals. This will be achieved by providing a very small but parallel and intense X-ray beam and by making it possible to use new methods of presenting the samples to the X-ray beam. The technique used is called X-ray crystallography: by making crystals of the protein molecules, shine our X-ray beam on the crystals and record the scattered X-rays it is possible to obtain a 3D-model of the protein molecule.
The science of structural biology studies structures of biological molecules with the goal to understand how biology works on a molecular level. The function of these molecules is determined by their structure, and since most functions in for example our cells are carried out by these molecules it is fundamental to understanding life. X-ray crystallography plays an important role in the development of new medicines.
MicroMAX is expected to be in user operation at the end of 2022.
MicroMAX has been funded by the Novo Nordisk Foundation.
Contact Info: Thomas Ursby
|Techniques||Macromolecular crystallography: microcrystals, serial crystallography with a wide range of sample delivery systems, time-resolved crystallography, automated oscillation crystallography|
|Beam Size||Tunable from 1 μm up to 10 μm and larger (FWHM, horizontal and vertical)|
|Energy Range||5–20 keV (0.6 –2.5 Å)|
|Time Scales||Down to microseconds|
|Samples||Microcrystals of biological molecules|
Gearing up for challenging proteins at MicroMAX
A group of researchers from Sweden and Germany provides proof of concept for implementing serial crystallography at MAX IV in a recent study. The researchers have studied three different proteins using high-viscosity extrusion and fixed-target methods. The acquired data is promising and shows a clear path towards confidently starting serial crystallography experiments at the BioMAX