Robert E. Thorne

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Vitrification of aqueous cryoprotectant mixtures is essential in cryopreservation of proteins and other biological samples. We report systematic measurements of critical cryoprotective agent (CPA) concentrations required for vitrification during plunge cooling from T=295 K to T=77 K in liquid nitrogen. Measurements on fourteen common CPAs including alcohols(More)
Three problems involving heat transfer from a protein crystal to a cooling agent are analyzed: flash-cooling in a cold nitrogen- or helium-gas stream, plunge-cooling into liquid nitrogen, propane or ethane and crystal heating in a cold gas stream owing to X-ray absorption. Heat transfer occurs by conduction inside the crystal and by convection from the(More)
Ice formation on warming is of comparable or greater importance to ice formation on cooling in determining survival of cryopreserved samples. Critical warming rates required for ice-free warming of vitrified aqueous solutions of glycerol, dimethyl sulfoxide, ethylene glycol, polyethylene glycol 200 and sucrose have been measured for warming rates of order(More)
When samples having volumes characteristic of protein crystals are plunge cooled in liquid nitrogen or propane, most cooling occurs in the cold gas layer above the liquid. By removing this cold gas layer, cooling rates for small samples and modest plunge velocities are increased to 1.5 × 10(4) K s(-1), with increases of a factor of 100 over current best(More)
Capillary tubes have many advantages over multi-well plates for macromol-ecular crystal growth and handling, including the possibility of in situ structure determination. To obtain complete high-resolution X-ray data sets, cryopreservation protocols must be developed to prevent crystalline ice formation and preserve macromolecular crystal order. The minimum(More)
During flash cooling of protein crystals in liquid cryogens, cooling rates are determined by sample size, choice of cooling liquid, and by the thickness of the cold gas layer that forms above the liquid. We describe an experimental protocol for ultra-rapid cooling of protein crystals. This protocol requires no complex apparatus, and yields ice-ring-free(More)
The dynamic response of tetragonal lysozyme crystals to dehydration has been characterized in situ using a combination of X-ray topography, high-resolution diffraction line-shape measurements and conventional crystallographic diffraction. For dehydration from 98% relative humidity (r.h.) to above 89%, mosaicity and diffraction resolution show little change(More)
The growth processes and defect structures of protein and virus crystals have been studied in situ by atomic force microscopy (AFM), X-ray diffraction topography, and high-resolution reciprocal space scanning. Molecular mechanisms of macromolecular crystallization were visualized and fundamental kinetic and thermodynamic parameters, which govern the(More)
Flash-cooling and annealing of macromolecular crystals have been investigated using in situ X-ray imaging, diffraction-peak lineshape measurements and conventional crystallographic diffraction. The dominant mechanisms by which flash-cooling creates disorder are suggested and a fixed-temperature annealing protocol for reducing this disorder is demonstrated(More)
Cryoprotectant-free thaumatin crystals have been cooled from 300 to 100 K at a rate of 0.1 K s(-1) - 10(3)-10(4) times slower than in conventional flash cooling - while continuously collecting X-ray diffraction data, so as to follow the evolution of protein lattice and solvent properties during cooling. Diffraction patterns show no evidence of crystalline(More)