Hamamatsu News 2-2016 - page 13

News 2016 Vol. 2 13
DECTRIS EIGER Detectors in the fight against
Zika virus
Baden, August 2016:
The leading scientific journal Nature published
in its latest issue a breakthrough on the quest towards a vaccine
against Zika virus. The article describes atomic structures of a surface
protein of Zika virus in complexes with neutralizing antibodies derived
from Dengue patients. These antibodies act against Dengue, a tropical
infectious disease, as well as against Zika. Scientists at Institut Pasteur
determined the structures with PILATUS and EIGER X-ray detectors
made by the Swiss manufacturer DECTRIS and installed at Synchrotron
The determination of the structure of the Zika protein is already the
second big success for EIGER detectors this year. In May, Japanese
researchers published the structure of a CRISPR-Cpf1 complex based
on data collected with EIGER. CRISPR shows great potential for gene-
editing based therapeutics for serious diseases. First studies on lung
cancer patients are currently being conducted in China.
EIGER detectors are high-performance X-ray cameras that measure
X-rays diffracted on crystals to make the determination of atomic
structures of protein complexes possible.
For additional information, please contact Andreas Förster at
or refer to
Neutralizing antibodies bind to Zika virus envelope protein. 
The dimeric Zika virus envelope protein is shown at the bottom (blue and cyan).
Bound to it on the left is the antigen-binding fragment (Fab) of a neutralizing
antibody crossreactive against dengue (heavy and light chain, brown and pale
orange, respectively). The accession code for the structure is 5lcv.
"Crucial for the excellent performance of our detector systems
is the integral quality of each purchased part and fabrication
step. With Hamamatsu as our main supplier of sensor wafers for
the Eiger and Pilatus product series, we found an excellent
partner willing to deliver with the stringent specifications
required to guarantee lowest defect densities and best
performance in our systems. Good customer relationship and
the readiness for actions as put into practice by Hamamatsu
guarantees us continuity and continuous improvement of
sensor quality."
Silke Traut
, M. Sc. Appl. Phys., Head of Micro- and Nano-Technology, DECTRIS
"The cornerstone for this fruitful relationship was laid in a small
meeting at the PSI – Paul Schärer Institute, Villigen in Switzerland
many years ago. Koei Yamamoto, Division Managing director
of our Solid State Division, recognized the potential behind
Christian Brönniman's thoughts immediately and engaged
himself and his team accepted the challenge to realize the
detectors needed. Many wafer runs later and after some setbacks,
we became the supplier for the then newly founded start-up
Dectris. We congratulate Dectris on this achievement and
are proud to continue to develop with Dectris the next
generation X-Ray Photon-counting Cameras for their future
Marco Mayer
, Area Manager Switzerland, HAMAMATSU Photonics Swiss Office
Press Release
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