Mechanical characterization of protein crystals

Tait, Stephan, White, Edward T. and Litster, James D. (2008) Mechanical characterization of protein crystals. Particle & Particle Systems Characterization, 25 3: 266-276. doi:10.1002/ppsc.200701112

Author Tait, Stephan
White, Edward T.
Litster, James D.
Title Mechanical characterization of protein crystals
Journal name Particle & Particle Systems Characterization   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0934-0866
Publication date 2008-08-01
Year available 2008
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1002/ppsc.200701112
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 25
Issue 3
Start page 266
End page 276
Total pages 10
Place of publication Weinheim, Germany
Publisher Wiley-VCH Verlag
Language eng
Subject C1
970103 Expanding Knowledge in the Chemical Sciences
0904 Chemical Engineering
Abstract The mechanical properties (critical stress intensity factor, hardness and Young's modulus) of 4 crystalline materials (two proteins, lysozyme and glucose isomerase and two non-proteins, glutamic acid and potassium sulphate) were measured with an indentation technique. It was found that the mechanical properties of lysozyme crystals depend on their state - dried, partly dried and moisture saturated - and their surroundings. The hardness, Young's modulus and the critical stress intensity factor of lysozyme crystals were observed to be much lower than those for the tested non-proteins, leading to the conclusion that crystalline lysozyme is comparatively more fragile and softer. In combination the mechanical properties of lysozyme and the non-proteins indicated that these materials were fairly brittle. Mechanical properties for crystals of the other protein, glucose isomerase, could not be quantified by indentation. However, qualitatively crystalline glucose isomerase was found to be more ductile and less fragile than crystalline lysozyme. The experimental findings were interpreted in terms of relative susceptibility to attrition and secondary nucleation in stirred industrial crystallizers.
Keyword fracture toughness
protein crystallization
secondary nucleation
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Additional Notes Published Online: 10 Jul 2008

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: 2009 Higher Education Research Data Collection
School of Chemical Engineering Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 8 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Sat, 18 Apr 2009, 05:03:07 EST by Gail Smith on behalf of School of Chemical Engineering