The European Spallation Source (ESS) is a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC), based around what will be the world’s most powerful neutron source. Located in Lund, Sweden, the facility will produce its first neutrons in 2024 and will begin a user programme in 2026. The Deuteration and Macromolecular Crystallisation (DEMAX) platform, part of the Scientific Activities Division, is comprised of chemical and biological deuteration and crystallisation. The chemical deuteration laboratory (DEULAB) at the ESS, housed in Medicon Village, focuses on the synthesis of novel, complex, deuterated small molecules for European neutron users, in collaboration with the other Deuteration Network (DEUNET) partner institutions. The biological deuteration and crystallisation laboratory of ESS is co-housed with the Lund Protein Production Platform (LP3), within Lund University.
Hanna Wacklin-Knecht coordinates the DEUNET, and works in the DEMAX platform developing methods for lipid deuteration and purification from biological cell cultures. Anna Leung is a synthetic chemist in the DEMAX platform, developing methods of chemical and enzymatic synthesis which can be used to produce deuterated small molecules such as lipids, surfactants and monomers for neutron scattering experiments. With the help of Oliver Bogojevic, now pursuing a PhD at the University of Aarhus in Denmark, ESS has developed methods for enzyme-assisted synthesis of chain-deuterated phospholipids. Jenny Andersson (Lund University) joined DEMAX as a post doc in March 2021 to work on lipid purification and analysis for investigations of antimicrobial peptides. Jia-Fei Poon (Lund University/ESS) works on the synthesis of novel surfactants for use in food and medical applications.
Zoë Fisher is the DEMAX group leader and works in the areas of biological deuteration and macromolecular crystallisation, producing partially or perdeuterated macromolecules for neutron scattering.
ISIS is a world-leading centre for physical and life science research, located near Oxford in the United Kingdom. The ISIS Deuteration Facility is able to produce deuterated samples for neutron experiments. The laboratory itself is well equipped with synthetic and analytical equipment.
The laboratory staff have a broad range of chemical expertise in synthesising per(deuterated) long-chain molecules up to C20 (including odd-numbered chains), covering fatty acids, alcohols, bromoalkanes, alkyl trichlorosilanes and other related species. They also have considerable experience in the synthesis of (per)deuterated ionic and non-ionic surfactants; carbohydrate and phosphorus chemistry; in the incorporation of (per)deuterated motifs into ionic liquids and custom small molecule synthesis. Kun Ma is employed by the ISIS Deuteration Facility to work on the SINE2020 Chemical Deuteration project.
The Institut Laue-Langevin (ILL) is one of the world’s flagship centre for neutron science located in Grenoble, France. The Soft Matter Science and Support (SMSS) group at the ILL is responsible for setting up a deuterated lipid extraction facility, the L-Lab, initially funded by the SINE2020 grant and in collaboration with the ILL’s Deuteration laboratory (D-lab). The D-lab assists external users wishing to make their own deuterated biological molecules for use in neutron scattering experiments. The L-Lab provides a number of hydrogenous and deuterated lipids, purified from natural extracts of yeasts and bacteria.
Giovanna Fragneto is the head of the SMSS and LSS (Large Scale Structures) groups. Her research focuses on the structural characterization and fluctuations of model biological membranes using neutron and X-ray reflectometry with aim of understanding phenomena at cell surfaces. Examples include the interaction of membranes with peptides, proteins, drugs or drug delivery systems. Krishna Batchu is the scientist responsible for L-Lab activities within the Partnership for Soft Condensed Matter (PSCM) initiative – a joint effort between the ILL and the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF). ILL member of staff involved in lipid production and characterisation include instrument scientists Anne Martel, Lionel Porcar, Sylvain Prevost, Bruno Demé from the LSS group, scientist Michael Haertlein and technician Valerie Laux from the D-Lab, and students Giacomo Corucci, Andreas Santamaria, Moritz Frewein from LSS and SMSS.
Forschungszentrum Jülich (FZJ) is an inter-disciplinary research institute in Jülich, Germany. The Jülich Centre for Neutron Science (JCNS) conducts research into many areas relevant to neutron-based science. The JCNS runs a synthesis laboratory for the production of soft matter samples which are mainly polymer-based. Jürgen Allgaier contributes their knowledge of deuterated monomers and polymers to the Deuteration Network. Lisa Fruhner works on synthetic methods for deuteration at JCNS.
- Deuterated monomers
- Model polymers (e.g. functional materials; polymers with architecture)
- Composite materials (e.g. nanoparticle composites)
The Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) operates the OPAL research reaction near Sydney, Australia. The Australian National Deuteration Facility at ANSTO produces both chemically and biologically-deuterated molecules for a range of applications including neutron experiments. ANSTO is an observer member of DEUNET and actively participates in our meetings and discussions.
Japan Proton Accelerator Research Complex (J-PARC) operates a spallation neutron source, Materials and Life Science Facility (MLF), at Tokai, Japan. The deuteration laboratory at MLF is supplying deuterated molecules as the samples for the neutron experiments in the research fields of material chemistry and biology. MLF is an observer and participates in the discussion in DEUNET.
Lund Protein Production Platform, LP3, is a cross-faculty facility of Lund University for protein production, purification, characterization, crystallization and protein structure determination. LP3 has in its mission to contribute actively to the interaction of Lund University with MAX IV laboratory, ESS and other relevant major research facilities, networks and initiatives. LP3 is one of several protein production facilities in Sweden that form the Protein Production Network Sweden (PPNS). LP3 is a partner in the FragMAX platform, the fragment-screening platform of the MAX IV laboratory, founded by the Swedish Research Council and located at LP3 and the BioMAX X-ray crystallography beamline.
The ESS biological deuteration and crystallization laboratory of DEMAX is co-hosted with LP3 within Lund University. DEMAX and LP3 are collaborating to coordinate their efforts to develop cost-effective production of deuterated biomaterials (lipids and proteins) for neutron-based methods such as protein crystallography, neutron reflectometry, and small angle neutron scattering.
Current projects include: Deuteration of proteins for neutron-based methods and deuteration of yeast/algae biomass.
KAERI (Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute) operates the research reactor HANARO (High-flux Advanced Neutron Application reactOR) in Daejeon, Korea. HANARO plans to build a deuteration facility in the near future in order to supply deuterated samples for neutron scattering experiments. Previously, deuterated single crystals for neutron single crystal diffraction and neutron inelastic scattering experiments were synthesised to investigate low-dimensional magnetism. Dr. In-Hwan Oh acts as the contact point for DEUNET at HANARO.
Deu-Switch (MEXT KAKENHI Transformative Research Area (B) “Deuterium Science”) is a research project supported by MEXT, Japan for 2020FY–2022FY. This project aims to better understand the properties of deuterated materials, to explore a research field “Deuterium Science”, and to propose a new material design concept “Deu-Switch” that aims to maximize the material functions by precise, logical deuteration of materials. The project leader is Hiroshi Naka (Kyoto University). Deu-Switch participates in the discussions in DEUNET.
The Center for Structural Molecular Biology (CSMB) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) operates the science and open access user program for the Biological Small-Angle Neutron Scattering (Bio-SANS) instrument and the Bio-Deuteration Laboratory (BDL). The BDL is dedicated to production, purification, and characterization of H/D-labeled biological macromolecules for protein crystallography, neutron reflectometry, neutron spectroscopy and SANS. Our team have expertise in fed-batch fermentation techniques for production of deuterated proteins, as well as production of deuterium labeled biopolymers and lipids. For more information, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. CSMB is an observer and participates in the discussions in DEUNET.
The Biomolecular Labeling Laboratory (BL2) is a joint facility of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the University of Maryland (UMD) located in Rockville, Maryland. The laboratory provides the infrastructure for biomolecules labeling with 2H, 13C and 15N to be use for structural and biophysical studies. The BL2 is open to federal laboratories, academic researchers and private businesses. The laboratory has all the equipment and reagents needed for the production, purification and characterization of labeled proteins and other biomolecules including peptides and nucleotides.
The Songshan Lake Materials Laboratory (SLAB) is a comprehensive materials research laboratory in the south China and hosts the SLAB Deuteration Facility (SLDF). SLDF focuses on developing large-scale integrative bio-deuteration systems for producing deuterated biomass and refined biomolecules to meet deuteration needs in diverse applications. SLDF supports neutron scattering research and broader deuteration activities.