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Zhang recognized in NNCI image contest

October 26, 2020

two-dimensional protein crystals

Zhang's image, "Protein Chess Board in Nanoscale"

MSE research assistant professor Shuai Zhang was recognized for his submission to the National Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure (NNCI) Image Contest 2020. This annual contest, called “Plenty of Beauty at the Bottom,” celebrates the beauty of the micro and nanoscale. Images featured were produced at one of the 16 NNCI sites during the past year. Zhang’s image, “Protein Chess Board in Nanoscale,” was recognized in the Most Unique Capability category.

Zhang submitted an atomic force microscopy (AFM) averaged morphological image of the two-dimensional protein crystals of mutated l-rhamnulose-1-phosphate aldolase (F88/C98RhuA) on muscovite mica. It was captured by Cypher AFM in the buffer of 50 mM MgCl2 and 20 mM Tris (pH 7).

This work demonstrates the capability of the Molecular Analysis Facility and Zhang’s group in molecular-resolution imaging of biomaterials. The related work, “Assembly of a patchy protein into variable 2D lattices via tunable multiscale interactions,” was recently published in Nature Communications.