Application of state-of-the-art 2D detectors in structural biology

Jasper R. Plaisier ,  Jan Pieter Abrahams 

Leiden Univ., Leiden, Netherlands


The development of area detectors for structural biology is one of the driving
forces behind the exponential increase in the number of structure determinations of biological complexes. X-ray crystallography has largely been responsible for this rise.

In recent years cryo-electron microscopy has become a rapidly emerging tool for
determining structures of sub-nanometer resolution. In the latter technique, however, area detectors are still hardly used, most data is still collected on photographic film. With the increasing number of structures being solved using microscopy the development and usage of area detectors is on the rise as well.

The two techniques are based on fundamentally different principles: Diffraction of X-rays and direct imging using electrons. Comparison of the two indicates that each approach places different demands on a detector. Next to these differences, both techniques are also at a different stage in their development. Whereas in electron microscopy people are still working on constructing a detector that fulfills the basic demands, in X-ray diffraction development is focussed on refining and improving throughput.

In this survey these two techniques in structural biology and their demands on detectors are compared. An analysis of the current application of detectors is presented. Furthermore, current trends in development are shown.

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Presentation: invited oral at E-MRS Fall Meeting 2004, Symposium D, by Jasper R. Plaisier
See On-line Journal of E-MRS Fall Meeting 2004

Submitted: 2004-04-14 12:04
Revised:   2009-06-08 12:55
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