Crystal Screening and Growth (CSG) Lab

The Crystal Screening and Growth lab uses robotics to automatically screen and refine crystallization conditions while maintaining detailed electronic experimental records.





Incubator:  The lab has two RuMed 3000 series incubators with programmable temperature profiles.  Each incubator can hold around 1000 experiment plates.  Typically they are set to maintain constant temperature at 20°C.  A dedicated cold room is also available for crystallization at 4°C.



Incubator:  Precision Scientific Model 815 Low Temperature Incubator.  This incubator is kept at 4°C to store crystallization screens and for low temperature crystallization setups.



Imager: The Formulatrix RockImager 54 is used to automatically image 96 and 24 well crystallization experiments.  It holds 54 plates at a time.  We also have two additional racks that can swap 9 plates at a time.



Workstation: Two computers running Formulatrix‘s RockMaker software are used to keep track of crystallization experiments as well as to screen around promising conditions using both grid and random screening approaches.



Liquid Handler: Tecan Freedom EVO 150 is controlled by RockMaker to create random and grid screens directly in the experiment plate or deep well screens.  The Freedom EVO 150 is used to mix the well solutions only.  Crystallization drops are finished with the Phoenix or by hand in the case of 24 well hanging drops.



Liquid Handler: The Art Robbins Instruments Phoenix is used to set up the protein drops.  The Phoenix directly dispenses experiments from commercially available deep well block screens or it is used complete custom experiments.



FPLC: The GE Healthcare Life Sciences division’s ÄKTA Pure™ chromotography system is designed for fast development and optimization of biomolecular purifications. We have a large collection of columns to enable us to purify most protein samples quickly.



Static Light Scattering: SEC-MALS (Size Exclusion Chromatrography with Multi Angle Light Scattering) system consisting of an Agilent Technologies 1260 Infinity Analytical Chromatography System with an auto-injector, Shodex, Waters, and GE analytical size exclusion columns, Wyatt Technologies MiniDawn TREOS and Wyatt Technologies OptiLab T-rex. This system is capable of very precise measurement of sample molecular weight (less than 1% error).



Dynamic Light Scattering: Wyatt Technologies DLS (Dynamic Light Scattering) system.  The DLS system can determine the number of species in solution.  It is useful to prescreen protein samples/buffers to find conditions where the protein exists as a single species in solution, for example, all monomers or all dimers.  Solutions with only one species have been shown to greatly increase the chance of crystallization.



 Centrifuge: Sorvall Legend RT table top centrifuge.  The centrifuge is used to concentrate protein samples and is also used to centrifuge 96-well crystallization plates.



Gel Electrophoresis: The Invitrogen XCell SureLock™ Mini-Cell mini-vertical electrophoresis system is used with precast mini-gels to save time during protein production and purification to evalute protein sample quality.