One of the very important applications of electron crystallography is the structure analysis of organic materials that are used in bioscience and medicine.
In comparison with inorganic materials is this area extremely difficult because of high instability of organic materials under electron beam. Data acquisition from such material is extremely difficult and the resulting data are frequently of limited quality. Often it is required to combine data from more crystals. However, overcoming these obstacles is rewarded by our ability to determine structures of microcrystalline organic materials, which cannot be determined by any other method. Our work yielded determination of many interesting structures mainly from the family metal-organic framework (MOF) polymers and pharmaceutical materials.
An important and unique application of our method is the ability to determine absolute structure of crystal and thus chirality of molecules contained in the crystal. Such information describing the exact space distribution of atoms in a molecule is very difficult to determine by other methods but it is also the key information for the determination of bioactivity of the studied molecule. In the structure determination of bioactive molecules, we collaborate not only with colleaugues from academia but aslo with commercial partners from pharmaceutical industry.
Figure: the structure of sofosbuvir L-prolin