PROPOSAL NUMBER 00-1 11.01-9407 (Chron: 000594 )
Optical Based Imaging for Protein Crystal Diagnostics

Photon-X has developed a patented imaging process which could potentially reduce the burden on X-ray crystallography and potential provide a tool to monitor in real-time the growth of each crystal to provide maximum efficiency and to grow more perfect crystals effortlessly. The Photon-X imaging technology is called spatial phase imaging. Photon-X's three innovations are one identifying protein crystals in a solution, two identifying the quality of the crystals grown and three in situ protein crystal growth diagnostic tool.
It is not unusual to set up hundreds or even thousands of crystallization solutions at a time, at different conditions when doing initial crystallization trials or when refining known conditions for any given protein. In industrial or commercial cases, up to hundreds of thousands of solutions being set up in some cases. Repeated examination of these numbers of solutions for just one protein is too much for any one or group of people to keep up with, and the problem becomes considerably greater when one considers that most structural laboratories are working on several proteins at any one time. Pharmaceutical company laboratories are working on many proteins at any one time, making the problem even greater in their case. A robotic optical imaging solution is needed to setup and monitor crystal growth of many varieties of crystals. The commercial potential of such a device could increase drug therapy by orders of magnitude.

The ability to conduct robotic screening of large numbers of crystallization solutions will be of immediate appeal to large pharmaceutical companies, which routinely set up hundreds or thousands of crystallization experiments on a daily basis. As the National Structural Genomics initiative gets under way, this ability will also become desirable at the academic laboratory level as well. Once crystals are identified, the ability to determine their relative X-ray diffraction characteristics, the likely quality of the structural data to be obtained from them, becomes very important indeed. This technology will be immediately desirable in virtually all structure laboratories, commercial, academic, and governmental.
This technology could potentially lead to the ability to diagnose crystal growth and to develop optimum growth parameters to grow the "perfect" protein crystal each time. The commercial potential would be staggering for in situ crystal growth in most situations, could potentially speed new drug development and new techniques for molecular and structural growth.

NAME AND ADDRESS OF PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR (Name, Organization Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip)
Blair A. Barbour
Photon-X, Inc.
102A Wynn Drive
Huntsville , AL   35805 - 1957

NAME AND ADDRESS OF OFFEROR (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip)
Photon-X, Inc.
102A Wynn Drive
Huntsville , AL   35805 - 1957