Analytical Sciences

Abstract − Analytical Sciences, 32(1), 3 (2016).

Microfluidic Approaches for Protein Crystal Structure Analysis
Masatoshi MAEKI,*,** Hiroshi YAMAGUCHI,*** Manabu TOKESHI,* and Masaya MIYAZAKI**
*Division of Applied Chemistry, Faculty of Engineering, Hokkaido University, Kita 13 Nishi 8, Kita, Sapporo 060-8628, Japan
**Advanced Manufacturing Research Institute, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, 807-1 Shuku, Tosu, Saga 841-0052, Japan
***Liberal Arts Education Center, Aso Campus, Tokai University, Minami-Aso, Kumamoto 869-1404, Japan
This review summarizes two microfluidic-based protein crystallization methods, protein crystallization behavior in the microfluidic devices, and their applications for X-ray crystal structure analysis. Microfluidic devices provide many advantages for protein crystallography; they require small sample volumes, provide high-throughput screening, and allow control of the protein crystallization. A droplet-based protein crystallization method is a useful technique for high-throughput screening and the formation of a single crystal without any complicated device fabrication process. Well-based microfluidic platforms also enable effective protein crystallization. This review also summarizes the protein crystal growth behavior in microfluidic devices as, is known from viewpoints of theoretical and experimental approaches. Finally, we introduce applications of microfluidic devices for on-chip crystal structure analysis.