Segmented flow generator for serial crystallography at the European X-ray free electron laser

Austin Echelmeier, Jorvani Cruz Villarreal, Marc Messerschmidt, Daihyun Kim, Jesse D. Coe, Darren Thifault, Sabine Botha, Ana Egatz-Gomez, Sahir Gandhi, Gerrit Brehm, Chelsie E. Conrad, Debra T. Hansen, Caleb Madsen, Saša Bajt, J. Domingo Meza-Aguilar, Dominik Oberthür, Max O. Wiedorn, Holger Fleckenstein, Derek Mendez, Juraj KnoškaJose M. Martin-Garcia, Hao Hu, Stella Lisova, Aschkan Allahgholi, Yaroslav Gevorkov, Kartik Ayyer, Steve Aplin, Helen Mary Ginn, Heinz Graafsma, Andrew J. Morgan, Dominic Greiffenberg, Alexander Klujev, Torsten Laurus, Jennifer Poehlsen, Ulrich Trunk, Davide Mezza, Bernd Schmidt, Manuela Kuhn, Raimund Fromme, Jolanta Sztuk-Dambietz, Natascha Raab, Steffen Hauf, Alessandro Silenzi, Thomas Michelat, Chen Xu, Cyril Danilevski, Andrea Parenti, Leonce Mekinda, Britta Weinhausen, Grant Mills, Patrik Vagovic, Yoonhee Kim, Henry Kirkwood, Richard Bean, Johan Bielecki, Stephan Stern, Klaus Giewekemeyer, Adam R. Round, Joachim Schulz, Katerina Dörner, Thomas D. Grant, Valerio Mariani, Anton Barty, Adrian P. Mancuso, Uwe Weierstall, John C.H. Spence, Henry N. Chapman, Nadia Zatsepin, Petra Fromme, Richard A. Kirian, Alexandra Ros

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Serial femtosecond crystallography (SFX) with X-ray free electron lasers (XFELs) allows structure determination of membrane proteins and time-resolved crystallography. Common liquid sample delivery continuously jets the protein crystal suspension into the path of the XFEL, wasting a vast amount of sample due to the pulsed nature of all current XFEL sources. The European XFEL (EuXFEL) delivers femtosecond (fs) X-ray pulses in trains spaced 100 ms apart whereas pulses within trains are currently separated by 889 ns. Therefore, continuous sample delivery via fast jets wastes >99% of sample. Here, we introduce a microfluidic device delivering crystal laden droplets segmented with an immiscible oil reducing sample waste and demonstrate droplet injection at the EuXFEL compatible with high pressure liquid delivery of an SFX experiment. While achieving ~60% reduction in sample waste, we determine the structure of the enzyme 3-deoxy-D-manno-octulosonate-8-phosphate synthase from microcrystals delivered in droplets revealing distinct structural features not previously reported.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number4511
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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  • KDO8PS Structure Determined at the EuXFEL using Segmented Flow Injection

    Echelmeier, A. (Contributor), Cruz Villarreal, J. (Contributor), Messerschmidt, M. (Contributor), Kim, D. (Contributor), Coe, J. D. (Contributor), Thifault, D. (Contributor), Botha, S. (Contributor), Egatz-Gomez, A. (Contributor), Gandhi, S. (Contributor), Brehm, G. (Contributor), Conrad, C. E. (Contributor), Hansen, D. (Contributor), Madsen, C. (Contributor), Bajt, S. (Contributor), Meza-Aguilar, J. D. (Contributor), Oberthür, D. (Contributor), Wiedorn, M. O. (Contributor), Fleckenstein, H. (Contributor), Mendez, D. (Contributor), Knoška, J. (Contributor), Martin-Garcia, J. M. (Contributor), Hu, H. (Contributor), Lisova, S. (Contributor), Allahgholi, A. (Contributor), Gevorkov, Y. (Contributor), Ayyer, K. (Contributor), Aplin, S. (Contributor), Ginn, H. M. (Contributor), Graafsma, H. (Contributor), Morgan, A. J. (Contributor), Greiffenberg, D. (Contributor), Klujev, A. (Contributor), Laurus, T. (Contributor), Poehlsen, J. (Contributor), Trunk, U. (Contributor), Mezza, D. (Contributor), Schmidt, B. (Contributor), Kuhn, M. (Contributor), Fromme, R. (Contributor), Sztuk-Dambietz, J. (Contributor), Raab, N. (Contributor), Hauf, S. (Contributor), Silenzi, A. (Contributor), Michelat, T. (Contributor), Xu, C. (Contributor), Danilevski, C. (Contributor), Parenti, A. (Contributor), Mekinda, L. (Contributor), Weinhausen, B. (Contributor), Mills, G. (Contributor), Vagovic, P. (Contributor), Kim, Y. (Contributor), Kirkwood, H. (Contributor), Bean, R. (Contributor), Bielecki, J. (Contributor), Stern, S. (Contributor), Giewekemeyer, K. (Contributor), Round, A. R. (Contributor), Schulz, J. (Contributor), Dörner, K. (Contributor), Grant, T. D. (Contributor), Mariani, V. (Contributor), Barty, A. (Contributor), Mancuso, A. P. (Contributor), Weierstall, U. (Contributor), Spence, J. C. H. (Contributor), Chapman, H. N. (Contributor), Zatsepin, N. (Contributor), Fromme, P. (Contributor), Kirian, R. (Contributor) & Ros, A. (Contributor), Protein Data Bank (PDB), Sep 2 2020


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