X-ray Crystallography

X-ray Crystallography


X-ray crystallography, which can analyze the spatial position and arrangement of atoms in protein bodies, is not only the most important method for the determination of the three-dimensional structure of proteins and nucleic acids but also a tool to accurately determine the three-dimensional position of each atom in a protein molecule. Currently, X-ray crystallography can be used to assist structural biology research in the expression and purification of target proteins, quality control of protein samples, and functional characterization of target macromolecules.

X-ray crystallography technologyFigure 1. Viral capsid structure obtained by X-ray crystallography. (Kermani A A, et al., 2023)

Working Principle

The molecular arrangement of protein crystals is characterized by regularity, symmetry, and periodicity. When an X-ray enters the crystal from a specific direction, it interacts with the electrons of the atoms in the crystal and scatters. The more electrons an atom has, the stronger the scattering ability. Electromagnetic waves scattered by the electrons of individual atoms in the crystal are coherently superimposed in space to form a diffracted beam. The direction of the diffraction lines, i.e. the position of the spots on the diffraction diagram, is determined by the size and shape of the smallest repeating unit in the crystal, the crystal cell. Besides, the electrons of all atoms within the cell contribute to the intensity of the diffraction spot. Therefore, the direction of the diffraction lines can be determined to determine the cell parameters, while the intensity of the diffracted spots is determined.


  • Provide structural information with atomic-level resolution.
  • Need to obtain high-quality protein crystals.
  • Not applicable to proteins that are difficult to crystallize or do not maintain functional structure in the crystalline state.

CD BioSciences, a top biotechnology company, focuses on providing specialized X-ray crystallography services for materials science and biological research.

Main Applications

  • Pharmaceutical Research

X-ray crystallography can help us determine the crystal structure of a drug, further revealing its activity and stability. This information is important for drug design, optimization, and stability assessment, which in turn accelerates drug development.

  • Material Structure Research

We use X-ray crystallography to determine the crystal structure, lattice constants, and other important parameters of a material, which are important for studying the physical properties, chemical reaction mechanisms, and material modification and synthesis. In addition, the lattice parameters or the size and shape of the crystal cells help us to understand the physical and chemical properties of the crystals.

  • Biological Research

We are able to provide X-ray crystallography to resolve the structure of biomolecules such as proteins and nucleic acids. By understanding the functions, interactions, and folding mechanisms of biomolecules, we can help in drug discovery and designing treatments for diseases.

What Can We Offer?

With advanced analytical equipment, CD BioSciences is committed to offering professional X-ray crystallography services to our clients. If you are interested in our services and need more details, please feel free to contact us.


  1. Kermani A A, Aggarwal S, Ghanbarpour A. (2023). Advances in X-ray crystallography methods to study structural dynamics of macromolecules[M]//Advanced Spectroscopic Methods to Study Biomolecular Structure and Dynamics. Academic Press. 309-355.
For research use only, not intended for any clinical use.
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