High throughput harvesting process
CrystalDirect® uses EMBL well plates which are commercially available from MiTeGen (CrystalDirectTM plates). These plates are fully compatible with standard 96-well plates. They are composed of a plastic frame and a thin membrane on which the samples are deposited (“hanging drop” type). The CrystalDirect® robot cuts the membrane around one or more than one selected crystals by means of laser photoablation. (Cipriani et al.,2012)
Thereafter the crystal support is fixed on a SPINE sample pin and immediately cryo-cooled.
Thanks to this laser photoablation technology, CrystalDirect® gives also the possibility to separate nested crystals by laser cutting from crystal agglomerates (crystal surgery). Protein crystals harvested by this technique do not get deteriorated, neither does their diffraction power as could be demonstrated by numerous experiments. (Zander et al.,2016)
CrystalDirect® is a fully-automated system designed for high throughput crystal harvesting that fits perfectly to modern crystallization platforms: CrystalDirect® needs about 1 minute per harvest and reaches this performance with a success rate which is superior to 99 %.
Intended for highly automated workflow, CrystalDirect® is compatible with a large variety of sample changer robots and especially with the Flex ED 6-axis Robot, developed by the EMBL.