Affiliations: MARS Center, via Gianturco 31, I-80146 Napoli, Italy
References: Not available.
Biomolecule crystallisation in microgravity
This paper reports the outcome of a crystallisation experiment performed on board the US Space Shuttle, during the STS-95 mission. The molecule crystallised was the polypeptide (Pro-Pro-Gly)10, a collagen model. The experimental apparatus used aboard the Shuttle was the Advanced Protein Crystallisation Facility (APCF), which was manufactured by Dornier Gmbh, (Germany) and provided to us by the European Space Agency (ESA). The main results of the microgravity experiment are here reported. The crystals grown in microgravity were analysed by X-ray diffraction; not only did the analysis show an increased diffracting power but it lead to a correct determination of the unit-cell parameters, and to a new model of molecule packing in the crystal. The analysis of the images, obtained by the CCD camera of APCF during crystal growth in microgravity, provided information on spatial distribution of crystals, their movements and their growth.