In the rarified world of protein crystal hunters, Fluidigm's
TOPAZ® system is the tool that has helped researchers solve the structures
of proteins from the Ebola Virus and Avian Flu Influenza. Now Fluidigm is introducing
its new 1.96 Diffraction Capable (DC) integrated fluidic circuit which will
allow researchers something they have long sought - direct screen-to-beam capabilities
without the need to physically harvest a crystal from the device.
The TOPAZ system has long been recognized for providing the industry’s
most efficient screening method -- Free Interface Diffusion (FID). The system
samples crystallization space more broadly while using significantly less protein
sample than any other products on the market. It therefore finds protein crystals
more efficiently than any other offering. These microscopic crystals can hold
the key to understanding and possibly preventing diseases of catastrophic proportions,
such as influenza epidemics.
Fluidigm’s new TOPAZ 1.96 DC chip provides the ability to obtain high
quality in situ, diffraction data, thus allowing true “hands off”
diffraction-based screening. “The TOPAZ 1.96 DC chip gives researchers
the ability to screen broadly to find protein crystals and then immediately
expose their targets to an x-ray source directly through the chip,” noted
Gajus Worthington, Fluidigm president and chief executive officer. “The
1.96 DC chip finally allows screening decisions to be based on data rather than
“We have been using Fluidigm’s 1.96 DC chip for several months.
Its ability to allow diffraction-based screening has been a tremendous benefit
to our research,” said James Berger, Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular
Biology, Department of Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of California,
Berkeley. “The TOPAZ 1.96 DC chip is a game-changer that has allowed us
to solve structures much more quickly than before because we can immediately
concentrate our efforts on crystals that provide the highest quality diffraction
data from the outset.”
Diffraction-based screening is made possible because the Fluidigm 1.96 DC chip
uses advanced chip design techniques. The chip materials and dimensions have
been chosen to optimize its performance for in situ diffraction, allowing the
entire chip to be placed directly in the path of an X-ray beam. If necessary,
“cut-outs” of the chip can be made to fit onto pins, which can be
cryopreserved and placed onto standard goniometer heads for data collection.
The Fluidigm 1.96 DC chip is the newest addition to the company’s TOPAZ
System which consists of chips, hardware and software that simplify and automate
nanoscale free interface diffusion.