Protein crystallography system installed at UWA

Thursday, 05 April, 2018 | Supplied by: AXT Pty Ltd

Scientific equipment supplier AXT recently completed the first Australian installation of an XtaLAB Synergy-S protein X-ray crystallography system from Rigaku Oxford Diffraction.

The system was installed at School of Molecular Sciences at The University of Western Australia (UWA), with funding secured by a team of researchers led by Professor Alice Vrielink, a leader in the field of protein crystallography, via the Australian Research Council (ARC) LIEF scheme.

“We are carrying out world-class research and needed a system that offered us capabilities to carry out in-house diffraction data collection with speed as well as in plate crystal screening,” Professor Vrielink explained. Specific areas of interest to Professor Vrielink and her team include structure guided drug design aimed at designing new therapeutics in the areas of anticancer drugs as well as new antimicrobials to treat multidrug-resistant bacterial infections.

The XtaLAB Synergy-S boasts the latest generation microfocus sealed tube X-ray sources with high-precision optics, all controlled by user-inspired software. By combining the Cu PhotonJet-S microfocus X-ray sources with the high-speed kappa goniometer with telescopic two-theta arm, researchers have the ability to tailor their experiments from sample screening to complete in-house data collection and structure solution.

The system also includes a HyPix-6000HE HPC (hybrid photon counting) detector. With its direct X-ray photon counting design, 100 µm pixel size and low noise, researchers at UWA will be able to collect high-quality data quickly, allowing them to run more samples and further accelerate their research.

“The Synergy-S system is providing us with all of these features allowing us to remain at the forefront of our crystallographic work on these protein targets,” said Professor Vrielink.

Richard Trett, AXT’s managing director, commented, “In-house protein crystallography has advanced significantly, meeting the needs of the next-generation protein-based therapeutics to treat a vast array of ailments suffered by humans. We are pleased and proud that we are helping to put cutting-edge solutions like the XtaLab Synergy-S into the hands of Australian researchers.”

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