To clarify the growth mechanism of a protein crystal, it is essential to measure its growth rate with respect to the supersaturation. We developed a compartment (growth cell) for measuring the growth rate (<0.1 nm s−1) of the face of a protein crystal at a controlled supersaturation by interferometry over a period of half a year in space. The growth cell mainly consists of quartz glass, in which the growth solution and a seed crystal are enclosed by capillaries, the screw sample holder, and a helical insert. To avoid the destruction of the cell and the evaporation of the water from the solution inside the cell, we selected the materials for these components with care. The equipment was successfully used to examine the growth of a lysozyme crystal at a controlled supersaturation in space, where convection is negligible because of the microgravity environment, thereby advancing our understanding of the mechanism of protein crystal growth from solution. The technique used to develop the growth cell is useful not only for space experiments but also for kinetic studies of materials with very slow growth and dissolution rates (<10−3 nm s−1).

1.
W.
Littke
and
C.
John
,
Science
225
,
203
(
1984
).
2.
L. J.
DeLucas
,
C. D.
Smith
,
H. W.
Smith
,
S.
Vijay-Kumar
,
S. E.
Senadhi
 et al,
Science
246
,
651
(
1989
).
3.
J.
Day
and
A.
McPherson
,
Protein Sci.
1
,
1254
(
1992
).
4.
J. D.
Ng
,
B.
Lorber
,
R.
Giegé
,
S.
Koszelak
,
J.
Day
,
A.
Greenwood
, and
A.
McPherson
,
Acta Crystallogr., Sect. D: Biol. Crystallogr.
53
,
724
(
1997
).
5.
K.
Inaka
,
S.
Takahashi
,
K.
Aritake
,
T.
Tsurumura
,
N.
Furubayashi
 et al,
Cryst. Growth Des.
11
,
2107
(
2011
).
6.
H.
Nakano
,
A.
Hosokawa
,
R.
Tagawa
,
K.
Inaka
,
K.
Ohta
 et al,
Acta Crystallogr., Sect. F: Struct. Biol. Cryst. Commun.
68
,
757
(
2012
).
7.
L. J.
DeLucas
,
F. L.
Suddath
,
R.
Snyder
,
R.
Naumann
,
M. B.
Broom
 et al,
J. Cryst. Growth
76
,
681
(
1986
).
8.
L. A.
Gonzalez-Ramirez
,
J.
Carrera
,
J. A.
Gavira
,
E.
Melero-Garcia
, and
J. M.
Garcia-Ruíz
,
Cryst. Growth Des.
8
,
4324
(
2008
).
9.
J. M.
Garcia-Ruíz
and
A.
Moreno
,
Acta Crystallogr., Sect. D: Biol. Crystallogr.
50
,
484
(
1994
).
10.
I.
Yoshizaki
,
T.
Sato
,
N.
Igarashi
,
M.
Natsuisaka
,
N.
Tanaka
 et al,
Acta Crystallogr., Sect. D: Biol. Crystallogr.
57
,
1621
(
2001
).
11.
K.
Tsukamoto
,
G.
Sazaki
,
K.
Kojima
,
M.
Tachibana
, and
I.
Yoshizaki
,
Space Util. Res.
25
(
2009
), https://repository.exst.jaxa.jp/dspace/handle/a-is/16518.
12.
W.
Pan
,
J.
Xu
,
K.
Tsukamoto
,
M.
Koizumi
,
T.
Yamazaki
 et al,
J. Cryst. Growth
377
,
43
(
2013
).
13.
I.
Yoshizaki
,
K.
Tsukamoto
,
T.
Yamazaki
,
K.
Murayama
,
K.
Oshi
 et al,
Rev. Sci. Instrum.
84
,
103707
(
2013
).
14.
K.
Maiwa
,
K.
Tsukamoto
, and
I.
Sunagawa
,
J. Cryst. Growth
102
,
43
(
1990
).
15.
K.
Murayama
,
K.
Tsukamoto
,
A.
Srivastava
,
H.
Miura
,
E.
Yokoyama
 et al,
Cryst. Res. Technol.
49
,
315
(
2014
).
16.
P.
Dold
,
E.
Ono
,
K.
Tsukamoto
, and
G.
Sazaki
,
J. Cryst. Growth
293
,
102
(
2006
).
17.
A. E. S.
Van Driessche
,
G.
Sazaki
,
F.
Otálora
,
F. M.
González-Rico
,
P.
Dold
 et al,
Cryst. Growth Des.
7
,
1980
(
2007
).
18.
M.
Maruyama
,
K.
Tsukamoto
,
G.
Sazaki
,
Y.
Nishimura
, and
P. G.
Vekilov
,
Cryst. Growth Des.
9
,
127
(
2009
).
19.
E.
Cacioppo
and
M. L.
Pusey
,
J. Cryst. Growth
114
,
286
(
1994
).
20.
Y.
Iimura
,
I.
Yoshizaki
,
L.
Rong
,
S.
Adachi
,
S.
Yoda
 et al,
J. Cryst. Growth
275
,
554
(
2005
).
21.
W. J.
Fredericks
,
M. C.
Hammonds
,
S. B.
Howard
, and
F.
Rosenberger
,
J. Cryst. Growth
141
,
183
(
1994
).
22.
23.
H.
Satoh
,
Y.
Nishimura
,
K.
Tsukamoto
,
A.
Ueda
,
K.
Kato
 et al,
Am. Mineral.
92
,
503
(
2007
).
24.
Y.
Suzuki
,
K.
Tsukamoto
,
I.
Yoshizaki
,
H.
Miura
, and
T.
Fujiwara
,
Cryst. Growth Des.
15
,
4787
(
2015
).
25.
T.
Fujiwara
,
Y.
Suzuki
,
I.
Yoshizaki
,
K.
Tsukamoto
,
K.
Murayama
 et al,
Rev. Sci. Instrum.
86
,
083704
(
2015
).
26.
M.
Sorai
,
T.
Ohsumi
,
M.
Ishikawa
, and
K.
Tsukamoto
,
Appl. Geochem.
22
,
2795
(
2007
).
27.
A. E. S.
Van Driessche
,
J. M.
Garcia-Ruiz
,
K.
Tsukamoto
,
L. D.
Patino-Lopez
 et al,
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A.
108
,
15721
(
2011
).
You do not currently have access to this content.