Macromolecular crystal growth as revealed by atomic force microscopy.
- Author(s): McPherson, Alexander;
- Kuznetsov, Yu G;
- Malkin, Alexander;
- Plomp, Marco
- et al.
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.1016/s1047-8477(03)00036-4
Direct visualization of macromolecular crystal growth using atomic force microscopy (AFM) has provided a powerful tool in the delineation of mechanisms and the kinetics of the growth process. It has further allowed us to evaluate the wide variety of impurities that are incorporated into crystals of proteins, nucleic acids, and viruses. We can, using AFM, image the defects and imperfections that afflict these crystals, the impurity layers that poison their surfaces, and the consequences of various factors on morphological development. All of these can be recorded under normal growth conditions, in native mother liquors, over time intervals ranging from minutes to days, and at the molecular level.