RIKEN’s X-ray Free Electron Laser (XFEL) facility allows continuous femtosecond crystal structure analysis using a line laser (SFX) method, by combining the pulse liquid drop method for generating and controlling spatial and temporal high precision droplets containing fine crystals of proteins. In a collaboration with the University of Tokyo it was shown that 0.3mg samples of lysozyme microcrystals were enough to solve the structure of this protein. This is 1/100 of the amount required in conventional methods. It is expected that this method will advance structure elucidation of drug discovery targets such as membrane proteins.
RIKEN news release, March 25, 2016