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  • In cooperation with SRC staff, the Laboratory for Fluorescence Dynamics (LFD) will be installing a monochromator on Aladdin port 073 to study the structure, dynamics, thermodynamics, and energetics of large biomolecules and cell structures. The fluorescence research at SRC will be carried out by scientists from both the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

    The Fluorescence Beamline, as it is known, started as an idea of Dr. William Mantulin and Dr. Enrico Gratton of LFD at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in 1989. Their grant proposal for research at SRC was initially set aside, but much to their surprise and pleasure, the NSF funded grant was approved over two years later. Since the Fall of 1994, they have been preparing their equipment for research, and plan to install it this fall, just as soon as the port is ready.

    Optical design

    Professor Catherine Royer, from the UW-Madison School of Pharmacy, will be overseeing the project that will delve into the mysteries surrounding many biologically related topics including: protein folding, chemical receptors, and DNA/protein interaction. The initial project grant lasts two years, but Dr. Royer hopes to fund the program as long as there is interest. Initially she will be doing most of the research, but she hopes to have graduate students working at SRC full-time in the future.

    Glucocorticoid response element

    Glucocorticoid response element(GRE)

    The classical method for protein fluorescence studies relies on laser light methods, but synchrotron radiation is superior in many aspects because of its stable and broad spectrum. Dr. Royer was impressed with the stability of Aladdin when she recently visited SRC, “I brought a detector from our laser based campus laboratory and compared to our lasers, the Aladdin spectrum is much more stable.” The broad spectrum from Aladdin also gives a more flexible tool with which to study the response of large biomolecules to electromagnetic stimuli. The more variables that the researchers can easily control, the more comprehensive the study can be.

    The group will use the pulsed nature of synchrotron radiation to measure the decay rate of fluorescence of biomolecules in the ultraviolet and near ultraviolet range. The beamline will operate using a slightly altered standard beam at 800 MeV or 1 GeV. To get time resolution, and to measure long fluorescence lifetimes, one of the fifteen electron bunches circling the Aladdin ring will be attenuated by about 20 per cent. This is not expected to be a problem, however, and most other beamlines should not even be aware of this perturbation to the stored beam.

    Along with an ISS monochromator and a photomultiplier, the fluorescence biology team will use a CCD array for detecting broad spectrum emissions from excited molecules. Their experimental apparatus will need more space than is available between the 4m NIM and the ERG-Seya, so two mirrors will be used to re-direct the light of bending magnet 7 to a more spacious location between the Canadian SGM and the SRC PGM. The mirrors will reduce the flux and quality of the photon beam slightly, but Dr. Royer does not believe it will be a significant problem since they were chosen for optimum reflectance.

    map of SRC vault Location of the Fluorescence beamline

    Dr. Royer says the work is going right on schedule and the set up time after the port is ready should be short. An on site trailer laboratory is nearly complete, with specialized equipment for handling and preparing biological samples.

    Aladdin -- Editor Brian Tonner

    Fluorescence Biology Beamline