Pressure-jump apparatus for time-resolved and static X-ray diffraction studies of conformational/phase transitions & structure in soft matter systems

Lead Research Organisation: Imperial College London
Department Name: Dept of Chemistry

Abstract

There is currently a pressing need for the development of techniques that will allow experimentalists to probe the time-dependent structural behaviour of out-of-equilibrium soft condensed matter systems. An ideal technique for monitoring and triggering the structural evolution of such transformations within the millisecond timescale is time-resolved X-ray scattering, employing pressure as the triggering variable. The p-jump technique can be applied quite generally to the study of soft condensed matter and biomolecular phase transformations, such as lyotropic liquid crystal phase transitions, micelle-vesicle transformations, DNA unwinding, and protein folding. To this end we aim to develop and construct a millisecond pressure-jump X-ray cell for use at the Non-Crystalline Scattering beamline I22 at Diamond. We will also develop user-friendly apparatus control, integrated with the beamline software currently under development for I22. Although this apparatus is primarily designed for pressure-jump experiments, it can also be used for rapid scanning of pressure in the range 1 bar - 5 kbar, allowing pressure-temperature phase diagrams to be determined rather efficiently. It should also be noted that the cell will be capable of holding a fixed pressure for specific experiments.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description Beamtime award SC2533, 3 days, Time resolved studies of inverse micellar cubic phases
Amount £30,000 (GBP)
Organisation European Synchrotron Radiation Facility 
Sector Academic/University
Country European Union (EU)
Start  
 
Description Beamtime award SC2799, 2 days, Membrane homeostasis in deep sea barophilic bacteria
Amount £20,000 (GBP)
Organisation European Synchrotron Radiation Facility 
Sector Academic/University
Country European Union (EU)
Start  
 
Description Beamtime award SC2800, 3 days, Composition effects on a novel 3-D hexagonal lyotropic lipid phase and its phase transitions
Amount £30,000 (GBP)
Organisation European Synchrotron Radiation Facility 
Sector Academic/University
Country European Union (EU)
Start  
 
Description Beamtime award SC2904, 3 days, Bridging the divide between lyotropic phase transitions in model membranes and ex-vivo systems
Amount £30,000 (GBP)
Organisation European Synchrotron Radiation Facility 
Sector Academic/University
Country European Union (EU)
Start  
 
Description Beamtime award SM1723, 3 days, Kinetic studies of inter-lamellar phase transitions in sphingomyelin-cholesterol model membranes
Amount £30,000 (GBP)
Organisation Diamond Light Source 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start  
 
Description Feasibility account EP/H024425/1 - Elements of a Vesicle Machine
Amount £200,000 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/H024425/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start  
 
Description Membrane Biophysics Platform Grant EP/G00465X/1
Amount £1,750,000 (GBP)
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start  
 
Description Cubic lipid phases in nature 
Organisation National University of Singapore
Country Singapore 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Pressure effects on sample structure explored during ESRF synchrotron beamtime.
Collaborator Contribution Yuru Deng - Lipid samples extracted from amoeba mitochondria.
Impact Data in process of being analysed.
Start Year 2008
 
Description High pressure effects on liquid crystal denrimers 
Organisation University of Bristol
Department School of Physics
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We provided, operated and tested the developed high pressure system as well as training our collaborators to use it.
Collaborator Contribution Prof Rob Richardson and Dr Simon Hanna synchrotron beamtime and samples for the first full test of the developed pressure system.
Impact Poster presented at International Liquid Crystals Conference 2010, Krakow and paper submitted to conference proceedings.
Start Year 2009
 
Description High pressure technology development 
Organisation Technical University of Dortmund
Department Faculty of Physical Chemistry
Country Germany 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution 33 days of beamtime allocated at ESRF and Diamond Light Source since 2006. Experimental teams from our research group.
Collaborator Contribution Roland Winter - first generation high pressure SAXS equipment used for test experiments and high pressure experiments at ESRF. Members of Dortmund group accompany during beamtime.
Impact 5 published papers: N Brooks, Rev. Sci. Instrum. 81, 064103 (2010) G Shearman, JACS 131, 1678 (2009) C Conn, Langmuir 24, 2331 (2008) J Seddon, Philos. Trans. 364 2635 (2006) C Conn, Phys. Rev. Let. 96 108102 (2006)
 
Description Phase transitions in cubic lipid model membranes 
Organisation University of Reading
Department Department of Chemistry
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Experimental verification of quantitative model.
Collaborator Contribution Adam Squires - Development of a quantitative model for lyotropic phase transitions.
Impact Published paper: A Squires, Soft Matter 5, 4773 (2009)
Start Year 2006
 
Description Synchrotron SAXS and data analysis 
Organisation Queen Mary University of London
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Beam time awarded
Collaborator Contribution Michael Sztucki, beamline ID2 - Significant contribution to success of beamtime and data analysis.
Impact Data analysis has been essential for all papers mentioned in publications section
Start Year 2008
 
Description Vision in the deep sea 
Organisation Queen Mary University of London
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Discussions on high pressure effects on photoreceptors. Plans for future collaborative projects.
Impact None yet
Start Year 2010
 
Description ESRF Spotlight on Science 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Article on ESRF website

N/A
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2009
 
Description EuroScience Open Forum 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Post-doc researcher presented one of four talks in symposium session organised by Diamond Light Source at EuroScience Open Forum 2010 in Turin, Italy

Not applicable
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2010
 
Description SET for Britain exhibition 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Post-doc researcher selected to present poster at the SET for Britain 2010 exhibition, House of Commons. Aim of event is to encourage, support and promote Britain's early-career research scientists and highlight cutting-edge research to parliament.

Not applicable
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2010