Sound approach to X-ray studies

Fragile proteins can now be studied with X-ray crystallography thanks to the application of microfluidic acoustic "tweezers" that use sound waves to hold the protein in the path of an X-ray beam for diffraction analysis. Tony Jun Huang and colleagues Penn State University explain that acoustic tweezers sidestep the difficulties in manually mounting a crystal using a microscope and a needle-like cryoloop to hold microscopic samples. Acoustic tweezers promise to improve efficiency and throughput of serial crystallography methods and more conventional data collection approaches, the team reports.