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July 25 2006 - Ref No: PR1073

Researchers in the Stoddard Lab at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (SIC) in Seattle have purchased a Malvern Instruments Zetasizer Nano particle characterization system for use in work on protein structure determination. The determination of solution behavior using light scattering measurements is crucially important in selecting the most appropriate conditions for protein crystallization. The Zetasizer Nano provides a ‘single button’ approach which is proving easy for everyone to use. A particular application of the system is in looking for aggregates that might adversely affect crystallization.

Principal investigator Dr Barry Stoddard said: “Although we’ve had the Zetasizer Nano only since November last year, it is clearly proving to be the easiest to use and most reliable of all the light scattering systems we’ve had in the lab. Whether sample concentration is low or high, it is never a problem, and is all taken care of with a single button, fully automated measurement. Data are clean and easy to interpret.

He continued: “Whereas light scattering systems we’ve used previously have proved too sensitive to contaminating particles, this is overcome with the Zetasizer Nano. Measurement in cuvettes ensures that there is no cross contamination between samples, and the Zetasizer Nano’s technology eliminates the need for complex sample manipulations – you simply insert the cuvette into the system and measure. This gives the team great confidence in the results.

According to Dr Stoddard, “if anyone in crystallography is not involved in light scattering, they should be.

For more information about protein applications for Malvern’s Zetasizer Nano series please visit www.malvern.com/proteins  For more information about the Stoddard Lab visit http://www.fhcrc.org/science/labs/stoddard/lab.html