Crystallography on the Nanogram Scale
News Apr 16, 2013
However, this analytical method has an intrinsic limitation that target samples have to be crystallized beforehand. As a result, most oily compounds or extremely small-quantity samples have not been analyzed by single crystal X-ray study solely because there was no way to crystallize them.
Prof. Makoto Fujita’s research group at the University of Tokyo’s Graduate School of Engineering solved this problem using a porous material called a “crystalline sponge”. Crystalline sponges are porous coordination network crystals capable of aligning incoming guest molecules inside their pores along an ordered framework of organic ligands and metal ions. Once the incoming guest molecules are regularly ordered, the resulting crystalline sponges meet the requirement for X-ray analysis, thus the structure of the guest molecule can be determined by X-ray crystallography without crystallizing the sample itself. The Fujita group demonstrated that molecular structures of non-crystalline samples were unambiguously determined by simply soaking a crystal of crystalline sponge in a solution containing from 80 ng up to 5 µg of the target sample.
With this new “crystalline sponge method,” the Fujita group successfully determined the crystal structures of medicinal compounds, natural flavonoids, and a very scarce marine natural product which is extracted from a marine sponge collected at a depth of 400 m.
This research provides an innovative tool to determine the structures of very tiny amounts of organic molecules in the field of medicinal drug, food, agrichemical, fragrance and fundamental organic research.
New Automated Screening Method for Identifying Drug CandidatesNews
Scientists at DESY have developed a new method that enables automated and fast screening of promising drug candidates.READ MORE
Atomic Structure of 'Cold' Receptor Uncovered Aiding Therapeutic TargetingNews
A team of researchers have made the first determination of the atomic structure of Transient Receptor Potential Melastatin 8. This finding should boost ongoing efforts by scientists to target TRPM8 therapeutically.READ MORE
Marine Microbes may be Responsible for Production of Ocean MethaneNews
Industrial and agricultural activities produce large amounts of methane, a greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming. Many bacteria also produce methane as a byproduct of their metabolism. Some of this naturally released methane comes from the ocean, a phenomenon that has long puzzled scientists because there were no known methane-producing organisms living near the ocean’s surface but new evidence is helping to solve the mystery.READ MORE