High-throughput crystallisation beta

Our high-throughput crystallisation platform, based on a Cartesin nanodrop dispensing robot and Rigaku storage and visualization system, is one of the core technical platforms of the Partnership for Structural Biology (PSB).

We also try to bridge the gap between high-throughput crystallisation and automated synchrotron data collection systems.

The High Throughput Crystallisation Facility at EMBL Grenoble offers automated nanovolume crystallization screening on a service basis. Starting with a purified and concentrated sample, dedicated operators perform the crystallization experiments, which are followed up through automated imaging systems.

Results, along with all the experimental details are made available in real-time through our own dedicated, secure web interface, CRIMS (Crystallization Information Management System). The HTX lab is one of the key platforms of the Partnership for Structural Biology (PSB) and is located in the Grenoble campus, next to the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) and the Institute Laue Langevin (Neutron Source). Since the start of operations we have provided crystallization services to more than 350 scientists.

European researchers can gain access to the automated crystallisation services at the HTX lab through the European Commission funded infrastructure project PCUBE.

For applications please contact:

lab equipment
High-throughput crystallisation robot at the HTX Lab.

Description of the platform

The HTX lab represents one of the largest platforms for high-throughput crystallisation screening in Europe and was established with the aim to increase the success rate and speed up the process of crystal structure determination by X-ray diffraction. In this platform the whole process of crystallisation screening is automated. Crystallization screening solutions are prepared in a high capacity liquid handling platform, consisting of a TECAN Genesis station plus a TeMo 96 line pippeting system, a carousel with capacity for 200 microplates and a plate sealer.

Sitting and hanging drop vapour diffusion crystallization experiments are set up with a Cartesian PixSys using extremely low sample volumes. Three automated imagers, two of them operating at 20 °C and one at 4 °C provide a combined storage capacity of 2.000 crystallisation microplates. All the operations in the lab are tracked and recorded by our own data management system, the Crystallization Information Management System (CRIMS). Dedicated web interfaces offer instant access (over a secure server) to the results along with experimental results.

In addition to the standard protocols we have developed specific procedures to handle samples with special requirements like membrane proteins for example. We are also actively involved in the development and evaluation of new technologies in macromolecular crystallization.

The HTX lab can also offer support for structure determination.

Services at EMBL Grenoble

EMBL Grenoble provides research services such as access to third-generation synchrotron beamlines for macromolecular crystallography at the ESRF, and instruments for neutron crystallography on the high-flux neutron source of the ILL.