High-Throughput Crystallization and Sample Characterization
Sample characterization of macromolecules in a broad sense covers crystallizability, monodispersity as measured by SAXS as well as a range of biophysical techniques.
The sample preparation and characterization (SPC) and the High-Throughput Crystallization (HT-X) facilities are part of the integrated facility for structural biology at EMBL@PETRA3. The integrated facility aims to provide a pipeline for structure determination to the user community from bench to beamline. Users will be able to process samples for purification and optimization, crystallization and structure determination to leave with a comprehensive structural understanding of their system.
The High-Throughput Crystallization (HT-X) facility at the EMBL Hamburg outstation has been open to the local and general scientific user community for over 5 years. Our services include the automated set-up of biological samples in up to 1,200 initial crystallization conditions, as well as the subsequent optimization of initial lead conditions with several customized and automated follow-up protocols. For the execution of crystallization experiments users can access a comprehensive website, in order to compose their individual requirements with respect to drop size (200 – 1,500nL), temperature (19°C or 5°C), plate type, screen condition or optimization protocol.
The Sample preparation and characterization facility (SPC) is equipped to perform quality assessment and optimization on macromolecular samples. All samples that enter the facility are checked by MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry for integrity and a single thermofluor experiment for thermostability. More sophisticated characterization procedures, like custom-made thermofluor screens, limited proteolysis, ITC, construct design or SAXS can be designed in close contact with our staff at the SPC facility.
Both platforms have been supported by past European Advanced Infrastructure Initiatives, like P-Cube. In total over 1,000 projects from scientists throughout Europe have been performed by the HT-X and SPC facilities.