Lysosome Crystals

Lysosome Crystals

Caroline McCue
Varanasi Research Group

MIT Department of Mechanical Engineering

This image is of a droplet of protein solution in which many protein crystals have formed. Protein crystals have very distinctive shapes and can be studied to learn the structure of proteins. I took this image to understand the effects of functionalized gold nanoparticles on protein crystal formation.

The protein used here is lysozyme, which is a model protein used for crystallization research. This image was from a vapor diffusion experiment that was used to understand the qualitative impact of various nanoparticle functionalizations on protein crystal formation.

The most exciting thing about this image is the complementary effect of colors and shapes, the rain from the polarized light and the distinct shape of each of the protein crystals within the drop.

crystals floating in a rainbow-tinted sphere

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