In situ observation of elementary growth steps on the surface of protein crystals by laser confocal microscopy

Gen Sazaki, Takuro Matsui, Katsuo Tsukamoto, Noritaka Usami, Toru Ujihara, Kozo Fujiwara, Kazuo Nakajima

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Surface micro-topography of the {110} faces of tetragonal lysozyme crystals was observed in situ by laser confocal microscopy (LCM) combined with differential interference contrast microscopy (DIM). We could observe two-dimensional (2D) nucleation and subsequent growth of the 2D islands in real time. When steps of neighboring 2D islands coalesced, the contrast of the steps disappeared completely and the 2D islands merged smoothly. This result proved that the height of the steps observed by LCM combined with DIM was always the same and these steps were elementary ones (5.6nm high). The combination of LCM and DIM was necessary to observe elementary steps with sufficient contrast. The elementary steps on a spiral growth hillock could also be observed using the LCM-DIM system, although their contrast was much smaller than that of the 2D islands because of much smaller inter-step distance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)536-542
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Crystal Growth
Volume262
Issue number1-4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2004 Feb 15

Keywords

  • A1. Biocrystallization
  • A1. Elementary step
  • A1. Laser confocal microscopy
  • A1. Optical microscopy
  • B1. Lysozyme
  • B1. Proteins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'In situ observation of elementary growth steps on the surface of protein crystals by laser confocal microscopy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this