IUCr journals

Hyperquenching for protein cryocrystallography

J. Appl. Cryst. (2006). 39, 805-811 [doi:10.1107/S0021889806037484]

[hyperquenching]By blowing away the cold gas layer, glycerol concentrations required to achieve vitrification of small sample volumes is dramatically reduced.
When protein crystals are plunge cooled in liquid nitrogen or propane, cooling rates are usually limited not by the liquid but by the cold gas layer that forms above it. By removing this cold gas layer, cooling rates can be increased by a factor of 10 or more, and glycerol concentrations required to eliminate crystallization in protein-free mixtures can be reduced by a factor of four or more. For many proteins, faster cooling may allow penetrating cryoprotectants to be eliminated from cryopreservation protocols.

M. Warkentin, V. Berejnov, N. S. Husseini and R.E. Thorne