Low-dose data for high-quality structures

Villigen, March 2015: Researchers at the Swiss Light Source, a synchrotron radiation facility at the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) in Villigen, have developed a new approach to solving crystal structures from unmodified protein and nucleic acid crystals. Traditionally, the determination of a new protein structure depended on the calculation of the positions of exogenous heavy atoms whose incorporation is often laborious or inefficient.

Using a DECTRIS PILATUS 2M detector, PSI researchers improved a method known as “native SAD” (single-wavelength anomalous diffraction) where only atoms present in the protein are used to determine the structure. Until now, this method was limited to structures of small, well-diffracting proteins. With the new approach of collecting low-dose data at high redundancy, in multiple sweeps with the crystal in multiple orientations, the weak signal inherent in light atoms naturally occurring in protein crystals (e.g. sulfur, calcium, potassium) can be extracted reliably, in particular since radiation damage is minimized.  

The high sensitivity of the PILATUS detectors produced by DECTRIS was critical to the success of the new approach. “These detectors can record signals with low noise with a low intensity of X-ray light, which means one can determine the protein structure with a low X-ray dose,” explains Vincent Olieric, a scientist at PSI who was involved in the project. With the new, broadly applicable technique, five new structures, among them challenging targets like a human membrane protein, a protein-DNA complex and a large multiprotein-ligand complex, were solved from native protein crystals (Weinert et al., Nature Methods 12, 131–133, 2015).

About DECTRIS Ltd.
DECTRIS Ltd. is the technologically leading company in Hybrid Photon Counting X-ray detection. DECTRIS Hybrid Photon Counting detectors have transformed basic research at synchrotron light sources, as well as in the laboratory and with industrial X-Ray applications. DECTRIS aims to continuously improve the measurement quality, thereby enabling new scientific findings. The broad range of products is based on this pioneering technology; all scaled to meet the needs of various applications. DECTRIS also provides solutions for customer developments in scientific and industrial X-Ray detection.

About PSI
The Paul Scherrer Institute PSI develops, builds and operates large, complex research facilities and makes them available to the national and international research community. The institute's own key research priorities are in the fields of matter and materials, energy and environment and human health. PSI is committed to the training of future generations. Therefore about one quarter of our staff are post-docs, post-graduates or apprentices. Altogether PSI employs 1900 people, thus being the largest research institute in Switzerland. The annual budget amounts to approximately CHF 350 million.

How does HPC advance X-ray imaging?

tl_files/root/Posters_Product News/Latest Hybrid Pixel Detectors Poster TilD/maeuse1_sm.jpgHybrid Photon Counting (HPC) pixel detectors enable noise-free X-ray imaging with high dynamic range and a sharp point-spread function. Their excellent stability at high frame rates in combination with the absence of image lag is essential for superior data quality. The new EIGER detector
(75 µm) has been tested for high-resolution grating-based phase-contrast imaging. CdTe-based PILATUS3 detectors (172 µm) for hard X-ray imaging, up to 100 keV, have been developed and tested for spectral imaging.


Anton Paar and DECTRIS - partners for the future

tl_files/root/news/news2015/SAXSpace_AP-Dectris.jpgBaden/Graz, Januar 2015: Petra Kotnik, Department Manager of Material Characterization at Anton Paar GmbH, and Clemens Schulze-Briese, CSO at DECTRIS Ltd., have agreed to integrate the new EIGER R 1M detector in the SAXSpace laboratory SWAXS system from Anton Paar.

The EIGER R 1M is DECTRIS latest Hybrid Photon Counting (HPC) detector for laboratory applications. Its outstanding features convinced Anton Paar to offer the novel detector with their excellent SAXSpace system.

Heiner Santner, Product Manager for SAXS products at Anton Paar, states: “DECTRIS HPC detectors are renowned for their single-photon sensitivity. In addition, the new EIGER R 1M combines small pixel size with a sharp point-spread function to achieve exceptional resolution. We make use of of the EIGER 2D detector’s advantages for fast and accurate analysis of nanostructured materials in our SAXSpace system. Scientists benefit from a large detector area, excellent resolution and unmatched readout speed and data accuracy.”

“Being our first partner to sign a frame contract for EIGER detectors shows that Anton Paar is dedicated to providing their customers with state-of-the-art technology in cutting-edge instruments,” says Clemens Schulze-Briese. “We are happy that Anton Paar fully integrates EIGER detectors into its outstanding SWAXS systems that are easy to use and that make the most out of the potential of our detectors for the users.”

About DECTRIS Ltd.
DECTRIS Ltd. is the technologically leading company in Hybrid Photon Counting X-ray detection. DECTRIS Hybrid Photon Counting detectors have transformed basic research at synchrotron light sources, as well as in the laboratory and with industrial X-Ray applications. DECTRIS aims to continuously improve the measurement quality, thereby enabling new scientific findings. The broad range of products is based on this pioneering technology; all scaled to meet the needs of various applications. DECTRIS also provides solutions for customer developments in scientific and industrial X-Ray detection.

DECTRIS was awarded the 2010 Swiss Economic Award in the High-Tech Biotech category, the most prestigious prize for start-up companies in Switzerland.

About Anton Paar
Anton Paar develops, produces and distributes highly accurate laboratory instruments and process measuring systems, and provides custom-tailored automation and robotic solutions. Anton Paar is the leading company for density and concentration measurement, rheometry and X-ray structure analysis (SAXS and non-ambient attachments for XRD). Anton Paar GmbH is owned by the charitable Santner Foundation.

DECTRIS' new X-ray detector series EIGER awarded by Swiss Excellence Foundation

November 2014, Zurich, Switzerland: Christian Brönnimann, CEO of DECTRIS, proudly accepted the Swiss Excellence Product Award of 2014 for the new X-ray detector series EIGER. Launched in August 2014 at the IUCr Conference in Montreal, Canada, the EIGER X-ray detector series was awarded as an innovative and unique development for advanced X-ray diffraction analysis at synchrotron beamlines as well as in the laboratory. The high resolution and the noise-free detection in combination with ultimate speed enable the user to take highly detailed diffraction images in a quality that could never be reached before.

The yearly Swiss Excellence Award is presented to manufacturers with outstanding innovations, high quality products and technological value added.  

STOE DECTRIS Xenocs OpenFactory: Contributing to the spirit of the IYCr 2014

The delegates received ten days of intensive training by STOE, DECTRIS and Xenocs staff as well as guest scientists in cooperation with the IUCr.

In the first lecture, DECTRIS introduced the delegates to the instrumentation for X-ray analysis: from sealed X-ray tubes and photographic films to 4th generation synchrotrons and modern detectors. Advances of single-photon-counting technology in laboratory and at synchrotron facility were presented on several examples of difficult structures, whose solution was possible only owing to the features of MYTHEN and PILATUS detectors.

In Grenoble, the delegates received theoretical and practical training on Small Angle X-ray Scattering. Four different workshops were organized at Xenocs Headquarters so that the participants could get in-depth knowledge on Xenocs sources and optics, Xenocs SAXS/WAXS systems and data treatment software, with experiments carried out on the Xeuss 2.0 SAXS/WAXS system. The delegates also visited the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) and more specifically the ID02 SAXS beamline.

In Darmstadt, the participants were trained in single crystal and powder XRD at STOE’s labs. The training involved one day of theoretical lectures, while two full days focused on hands-on workshops for x-ray single crystal as well as x-ray powder diffraction on the STOE IPDS 2/2T and STADIVARI Single Crystal Diffractometer, and STADI P and STADI MP Powder Diffractometer. Thereafter, the participants joined STOE’s Single Crystal User Meeting, which included several talks from guest scientists and STOE staff. As a highlight, Prof. Dr. Gautam R. Desiraju, immediate past president of the IUCR, has held his premier speech on “100 years of Crystallography: Seen through 15 small molecule crystal structures”.

The feedback of the participants was overwhelming. Next to all the knowledge being shared, it has been impressive how strong ties have been built among the participants – connecting young crystallographers from across the world in the spirit of IYCr.

Read more at: http://www.chemistryviews.org/details/ezine/6749191/IUCr-UNESCO_OpenFactory.html

SHIMADZU and DECTRIS Ltd. Signed Frame Contract about the Delivery of Detectors

tl_files/root/news/2014-06-13_DECTRIS AND SHIMADZU PARTNERSHIP/DECTRIS_Shimadzu_partnership_June2014.jpgKyoto (Japan), June 2014: Hiroyuki Murakita, General Manager of X-ray/Surface Analysis Business Unit at SHIMADZU Corporation and Clemens Schulze-Briese, CSO at DECTRIS Ltd. signed a frame contract about the delivery of detectors for the x-ray diffraction systems of SHIMADZU.

Due to the outstanding reputation of DECTRIS detectors in the X-ray diffraction market, SHIMADZU signed a delivery agreement for detectors for their X-ray diffraction systems. Hiroaki Furukawa, Product Manager for X-ray products at Shimadzu says: “The detector has 1280 channels. We can use this point to realize the faster analysis of our XRD customers for various applications, such as the quality control of chemical materials including pharmaceutical, the analysis of catalyst, and environmental applications. We developed the software for controlling this detector and succeeded to maximize the performance of the detectors.”

Clemens Schulze-Briese says: “Our knowledge in the synchrotron market enables us to provide high reliable and sensitive detectors for the laboratory market. We believe that the customers receiving the systems from SHIMADZU including our detectors will be very satisfied and happy to work with such a high performance X-ray diffractometer”


Analytical & Measuring Technology developed by Shimadzu Corporation can be easily termed as "Technology for Science". Our high-level, sophisticated products include Chromatographs, Light Absorption Analysis Systems, and Composition and X-ray/Surface Analysis Systems. We provide a broad range of analytical instruments indispensable for research, development, and quality control in a variety of fields, including new drug development. For primary instruments such as the Liquid Chromatographs and Gas Chromatograph Mass Spectrometers, we have moved actively to incorporate technology that responds to the latest global needs. As a result, we are anticipating continued future growth in these important markets.

Shimadzu also provides a broad range of high-precision testing and measuring technology that is essential for product development. Our high-precision measuring instruments are used for the evaluation of physical properties, non-destructive inspection, and environmental measurement.

DECTRIS PILATUS Hybrid Pixel Detectors receive Red Dot Award for Product Design

tl_files/root/news/20140407-Red Dot Award/Red Dot Success Story pict.jpgEssen, Germany, April 2014: The DECTRIS PILATUS Hybrid Pixel Detector family receives the yearly Red Dot Product Design award. Together with its longterm partner Erdmann Design, DECTRIS developed the industrial design of the PILATUS detectors, which are installed into X-ray diffraction systems and at synchrotron beamlines. The advanced functionality combined with the design convinced the jury to distinguish the detector with the Red Dot award for Product Design.

Clemens Schulze-Briese, (CSO at DECTRIS): ”At DECTRIS we strive hard to develop and built the best possible X-ray detectors. For us, quality covers all aspects and every detail of our products, including their design. We were really delighted when we received the information that we won the Red Dot Award! This shows us, that even in the high-tech area product design plays an important role for the people.”

Corresponding to their slogan “In search of excellence” the jury was searching for innovative product designs. 1,816 manufacturers, designers and architects from 53 different countries sent their products to the design center in Germany. During several days the forty members of the jury selected the best designs from 4,815 applications. 

All winners will be celebrated at the 7th of July at the Red Dot Gala in Essen, Germany.

About Erdmann Design
Erdmann Design is an international design consultancy that helps companies create meaningful ideas, designs, and experiences that customers crave. We are driven by an obsession for understanding people, brands and technology. Formulating cultural and user insights, mapping opportunity spaces through strategic frameworks, and expressing compelling solutions are our strengths.

Rather than asking us to make an already developed idea more attractive to consumers, companies are asking us to create ideas that better meet consumer needs and desires. The former role is tactical, and results in limited value creation, the latter is strategic and leads to dramatically new forms of value. The impulse for a new idea comes often from an individual that wonders about the future. http://www.erdmann.ch/


About Red Dot Award

The Product Design competition has existed since 1954. Its award, the Red Dot, is an internationally recognised quality seal. The best products receive the Red Dot: Best of the Best award. http://red-dot.de/pd/?lang=en

DECTRIS Ltd. Delivered Customized PILATUS 12M-DLS Detector to Diamond Light Source

Didcot (UK), April 2014: DECTRIS Ltd. delivered and installed the unique PILATUS 12M-DLS detector for the I23 beamline at Diamond Light Source, the UK’s national synchrotron science facility. The highly specialized in vacuum X-ray detector is an important component of the beamline, one of the most ambitious macromolecular crystallography (MX) beamlines to be built anywhere in the world.

tl_files/root/news/20140403_SuccessStory_12M-DLS/PILATUS 12M-DLS_small.jpgThe I23 beamline, with the PILATUS 12M-DLS as one of its key components, will facilitate challenging research on DNA, RNA, native proteins and other building blocks of life. The scientific goal of I23, to use long wavelengths to tackle the crystallographic phase problem, has long been hampered by strong air absorption and large scattering angles. However, this approach is vital for projects where protein labelling to introduce anomalous scattering is not feasible. The PILATUS 12M-DLS, a DECTRIS Specific Solution built in close collaboration with the I23 beamline team, effectively overcomes these limitations. Placing sample and detector in vacuum eliminates air absorption. The semi-cylindrical shape of the detector covers a 2θ range of ±100° and allows to simultaneously collect low- and high-resolution data.

Armin Wagner, Principal Beamline Scientist for I23, explains: “This beamline, which will come online for first users this summer, will be an important additional tool for crystallography at Diamond. It will utilise long wavelength X-rays and, in doing so, offer a unique facility for carrying out challenging research on DNA, RNA, native proteins and other building blocks of life. To facilitate this, we need an in vacuum detector that is calibrated for low-energy X-rays. When we began this project, no such detector was commercially available. DECTRIS helped us to turn an ambitious in vacuum low-energy detector development project into a reality."

The 12M-DLS detector is a customer specific solution to fulfill all requirements of the scientists at Diamond. It consists of 120 PILATUS detector modules mounted on a high precision frame to form a semi-cylindrical shape. With an active area of 0.34 m2, this is the largest PILATUS detector ever built. The detector can detect X-rays with low energies like 2.3 keV and it is vacuum compatible down to a pressure of 10-6 mbar. The modules are water-cooled and the system is built without a single direct water-to-vacuum connection, which greatly reduces the risk of vacuum contamination. For performance and maintenance reasons the read-out electronics are placed in an electrical cabinet outside the vacuum chamber. The electrical connections between the modules and the read-out electronics involve over 400 meters of vacuum cabling and over 6700 vacuum-to-air feedthrough pins. Finally, the electrical and software interface is identical to a standard PILATUS3 detector. Therefore the integration is very simple and existing tools and software can be used.

tl_files/root/news/20140403_SuccessStory_12M-DLS/Diamond scientists_smalla.jpg“On previous specific solution projects DECTRIS has gained extensive experience with in-vacuum detectors, custom geometries and special energy calibrations”, explains Benjamin Lüthi, project manager for the PILATUS 12M-DLS. “But the combination of these three key technologies on such a high level posed some real challenges. The results from the initial tests of the PILATUS 12M detector at the beamline exceed our expectation and we feel rewarded after all the hard work and many careful thoughts that went into this elaborate design.”


About DECTRIS Ltd.
DECTRIS Ltd. is one of the technically leading companies in X-ray detection. The DECTRIS photon counting detectors have transformed basic research at synchrotron light sources, as well as in the laboratory and with industrial X-Ray applications. DECTRIS aims to continuously improve the measurement quality, thereby enabling new scientific findings. The broad range of products is based on this pioneering technology, all scaled to meet the needs of various applications. DECTRIS also provides solutions for customer developments in scientific and industrial X-Ray detection. DECTRIS was awarded the 2010 Swiss Economic Award in the High-Tech Biotech category, the most prestigious prize for start-up companies in Switzerland

About Diamond
Diamond Light Source, a joint venture between the UK Government and the Wellcome Trust, is located on the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus in Oxfordshire. By accelerating electrons to near light-speed, Diamond generates brilliant beams of light from infra-red to X-rays which are used for academic and industry research and development across a range of scientific disciplines including structural biology, physics, chemistry, materials science, engineering, earth and environmental sciences. For more information, please visit www.diamond.ac.uk



IUCr-UNESCO OpenFactory hosted by STOE, DECTRIS & Xenocs

In the International Year of Crystallography 2014, STOE, DECTRIS & Xenocs jointly organize an IUCr-UNESCO OpenFactory. The event offers high quality education with hands-on training and courses by IUCr-lecturers as well as representatives from STOE, DECTRIS, and Xenocs. Participation is free of charge for accepted applicants, travel grants are provided by the organizing companies. In line of our commitment for Africa, DECTRIS provides travel grants for participant from African countries.

The intended audience are young scientists who are already knowledgeable about crystallography, but so far have little exposure to XRD. The OpenFactory will enable these scientists to become future thought leaders for crystallography and application of XRD in their home countries.

In Grenoble, the delegates will visit the ESRF (European Synchrotron) extensively and will be trained in small angle X-ray scattering at Xenocs’ headquarter. The participants will have the opportunity to visit beamlines and interact with scientists at ESRF. In Darmstadt, the participants will be trained in single crystal and powder XRD at STOE’s headquarter. DECTRIS will provide training in how to best exploit the advantages of Hybrid Pixel Detectors and various other aspects of X-ray detection. OpenFactory participants will also join the STOE annual user meeting, which offers unique networking opportunities with experienced crystallographers.

Candidates are invited to submit their written application, including CV and an essay, before March 30th, 2014. DECTRIS particularly encourages candidates from Africa to apply. For details and submitting an application please visit www.iycr2014.org/openfactory. Please only use the IYCr website to apply, direct application to DECTRIS is not possible.

DECTRIS supports IYCr2014 and IUCr-UNESCO OpenLabs

The New Year we are about to welcome will be the International Year of Crystallography, IYCr2014. After supporting an educational project in Tanzania last year, IYCr2014 offers the unique opportunity to combine DECTRIS' dedication to education in Africa with supporting and promoting crystallography.

IUCr-UNESCO OpenLabs are a worldwide network of crystallographic laboratories, mostly in the developing countries. The OpenLabs project allows access to crystallographic knowledge and technology in all parts of the world, key for the fruitful development of science and advanced research.

DECTRIS supports the IUCr-UNESCO OpenLabs with a total of 20,000 Euros. This contribution is for OpenLabs in Africa and an OpenFactory project. The support for OpenLabs will allow students and young professors to participate in workshops and to benefit from hands-on crystallographic training. 

Finally, by sponsoring the keynote lecture of Jenny Glusker at the opening ceremony in January in Paris, DECTRIS makes a further contribution to IYCr2014. Check the DECTRIS website regularly during 2014 to read further news about our activities and involvement in the International Year of Crystallography.