The Nanoliter Osmometer: Thermal Hysteresis Measurement

Nitsan Pariente, Maya Bar Dolev, Ido Braslavsky*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The nanoliter osmometer is one of the most common tools in the study of ice-binding proteins (IBPs). It is used not only to measure the thermal hysteresis activity of IBPs but also to explore ice shaping, ice adhesion, and ice growth and melting rates and patterns. The advantage of the nanoliter osmometer for the IBP study and for studying single ice crystals lies in the small sample volume, in the range of nanoliters. Such a small volume enables precise determination and control of the temperature with precision in the range of millidegrees. This chapter describes in detail the process of determination of thermal hysteresis using a nanoliter osmometer operated by a LabVIEW interface. We describe the preparation of suitable capillaries and sample injection, which is a challenging step in the measurement. We then describe the procedure of single crystal formation and the determination of the melting and freezing temperatures. Insights on crucial parameters are emphasized.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationMethods in Molecular Biology
PublisherHumana Press Inc.
Number of pages17
StatePublished - 2024

Publication series

NameMethods in Molecular Biology
ISSN (Print)1064-3745
ISSN (Electronic)1940-6029

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2024.


  • Antifreeze proteins
  • Crystal growth
  • Ice shaping
  • Ice-binding proteins
  • Nanoliter osmometer
  • Single ice crystal
  • Thermal hysteresis
  • Thermal hysteresis gap


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