Small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) Kratky camera system

Protein solution structure determination


Macromolecular crystallography and NMR are two of the most important techniques for furthering our understanding of structural biology. However, the fact remains that three-dimensional structures derived from NMR and single crystal analysis are difficult to achieve at best and quite often the analyses fail. The time, energy and money spent on cloning, expressing and purifying proteins that refuse to crystallize or are inappropriate for NMR analysis, drive up the overall cost of structural biology research and if a project is abandoned when a structure cannot be produced, the efforts are totally wasted.

SAXS Provides Complementary Structural Information to Protein Crystallography and NMR

Small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) is a technique that can be applied to solutions of macromolecules to determine a variety of molecular properties, most of which are related to the shape of the molecule. The information acquired is useful both pre- and post-structure determination, making it a synergetic technique for structural biologists. You can determine the molecular weight of the molecule/complex in solution, which in turn tells you the oligomeric state in solution. You can tell if the sample is mono-disperse or aggregated. You can tell if a protein is folded, unfolded or contains disordered regions. You can determine a low resolution, three-dimensional shape of the molecule/complex, which can be used for a variety of modeling purposes.

A SAXS System Specifically Designed for Structural Biology

Rigaku's new BioSAXS-1000 SAXS camera is designed specifically to meet the needs of the structural biologist. Based on a patented two-dimensional Kratky design, the BioSAXS-1000 takes up much less space than a conventional 3-pinhole camera but offers better flux character­istics. Best of all, the BioSAXS-1000 can be mounted on the open port of a Rigaku rotating anode X-ray generator, taking full advantage of existing infrastructure, or it can be mated to a Rigaku microfocus sealed tube X-ray source. A new BioSAXS-1000 AUTO configuration incorporates two time-saving features: an automatic sample changer for unattended overnight operation and an Automatic Analysis Pipeline based on the world standard ATSAS package from EMBL Hamburg.

No Need to Wait for Beamtime at a Synchrotron

Compared to a standard Kratky camera that utilizes the line focus from a standard sealed tube source, the BioSAXS-1000 is equipped with a doubly focusing multilayer optic assembly that produces a more brilliant beam at the sample. Since the beam is focused on the detector, there is no need to de-smear the data. Moreover, data from the BioSAXS-1000 rivals SAXS data collected at the synchrotron with data collection times usually 30 minutes or less.


  • Automated sample changer (3 sample positions plus one standard)
  • Simultaneous SAXS and WAXS measurements in a single image (qmax = 0.65 Å⁻¹)
  • Easily installed on the open port of an existing generator or can be installed with your choice of X-ray source: Microfocus sealed tube, MicroMax-007 HF, FR-X
  • Point focusing optics eliminates smearing issues common to traditional Kratky cameras.
  • All system components are motorized for control from control computer.
  • Photodiode beamstop for intensity measurements and sample absorption correction.
  • Sample temperature control included with system.
  • 2D Kratky collimation allows one to achieve low q measurements with no realignment
  • Sample temperature control included with every system.
  • SAXSLab data collection and processing software

Optional accessories

  • Temperature controlled, automated sample changer flow cell with 8 sample positions. See Accessories tab for more details.
  • Automatic analysis pipeline (AAP) based on ATSAS, the world’s most popular SAXS analysis software developed at EMBL Hamburg. See Accessories tab for more details.

BioSAXS-1000 specifications

  • Camera Length: 500 mm
  • Sample Size: 1.5 mm X 5 mm, 15 uL
  • Beam size at Sample: 0.5 mm
  • Incident Beam: CMF focusing optic, attenuator (4), 4 jaw slits (motorized)
  • Collimation: 2D Kratky block (motorized)
  • Sample Stage: X, Y sample stage (motorized) with capacity for 3 sample capillaries, 1 standard powder position
  • Beam Stop: Horizontal movement (motorized) with PIN-diode detector
  • q-range: 0.008 Å⁻¹ - 0.65 Å⁻¹
  • System size: 1600 mm X 1000 mm (150 kg)
  • Detector: Dectris Pilatus 100K with reversed biased silicon diode array (active area: 83.8 mm X 33.5 mm)
  • Sample Temperature Control

The BioSAXS-1000 has two available accessories that improve the usability and throughput of the system. Together these two accessories and the BioSAXS-1000 comprise the BioSAXS-1000 AUTO - a unified automatic platform for SAXS data collection and analysis of biological solutions

The BioSAXS-1000 AUTO from Rigaku is the most comprehensive biological SAXS system available for the home lab. The BioSAXS-1000 AUTO configuration combines Rigaku’s proven BioSAXS-1000 system with automatic sample handling, automatic data collection and automatic data analysis for biological solution scattering experiments. Now, with the BioSAXS-1000 AUTO, Rigaku gives you all the tools you need to perform successful SAXS experiments in the home lab and to make the information obtained from SAXS an integral part of your research workflow.

Automatic Sample Handling

The optional sample handling system allows unattended sample loading and data collection for solution samples. The system is compromised of a flow cell and temperature controlled sample stage with wells for 8 micro-centrifuge tubes. Sample loading and cleaning procedures are integrated in the software.

Automatic Data Analysis Software

The optional Automatic Analysis Pipeline (AAP) provides a breakthrough in experimental SAXS workflow. The AAP is built upon the ATSAS SAXS analysis package developed by Dmitri Svergun’s group at EMBL in Hamburg. The AAP automatically performs SAXS profile averaging and buffer subtraction, radius of gyration and molecular weight calculations, calculation and generation of pair-distance distribution plots, and automatic shape determination, averaging and analysis. The end result of the pipeline is a summary of the results for several concentrations of the protein solution that makes publication of SAXS results much easier.

BioSAXS-1000 applications

Small Angle X-ray Scattering (SAXS) for Isotropically Scattering Samples

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