What can Mesoscopic Level IN SITU Observations Teach us About Kinetics and Thermodynamics of Protein Crystallization?

Mike Sleutel, Dominique Maes, Alexander Van Driessche

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


I. Introduction
A. Protein Crystallization: An Intricate Part of Structure Determination
B. Protein Crystallization In Vivo
C. Model System for Self-Assembly in General
II. Techniques for Mesoscale In Situ Observations of Protein Crystal Growth
A. F-Faces
B. Measuring Growth Kinetics with AFM, LCM-DIM, and PSMI
C. Spatial and Temporal Resolution
D. Optimal Operational Range
III. Protein Crystal Growth Close to Equilibrium
A. Enthalpy and Entropy of Crystallization
1. Solubility Curve Determination
2. Determination of Enthalpy and Entropy of Crystallization
B. Step Dynamics
C. Elementary Acts of Crystal Growth
D. Growth Unit Pathways Toward the Kink
IV. Protein Crystal Growth at Intermediate Driving Forces
A. Polyhedral Stability-Limit: Starvation Flaws
1. Instability Mechanism: The Berg Effect
2. Stability Mechanism: Face Kinetic Coefficient Anisotropy
B. 2D Hillocks
V. Growth Kinetics at High Supersaturation Levels
A. Kinetic Roughening
VI. Impurity Effects on Protein Crystal Growth
A. Deceleration of Step Advancement by Impurities
B. Impurity Adsorption Sites
C. Adsorption Sites, Supersaturation Dependencies, and Relevant Timescales
D. Impurity Effect on 2D Nucleation
VII. Concluding Remarks
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)223-276
JournalAdvances in Chemical Physics
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • crystal growth
  • review
  • mechanism
  • in situ observation
  • mesoscopic lengthscales


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