In the procedure, developed at RIKKEN’s SPring8 radiation facilities, microcrystals of proteins are mixed into hyaluronic acid as a hydrogel transport medium, and 20.000 to 30.000 high-resolution diffraction patterns are obtained by femtosecond laser irradiation from which the protein structures can be calculated at about 2 A resolution or better. The procedure is expected to allow structure elucidation of proteins from which crystals are difficult to grow, e. g. for membrane proteins important for drug design.

RIKEN news release, April 18, 2016