Post author: Matthew Wilce. Last update: 30/10/2015 at 3:07 pm by Matthew Wilce.
X-ray diffraction provides a key methodology for determining the three dimensional structure of biological macromolecules to atomic or near atomic detail. However, before an X-ray diffraction experiment can be performed crystals of the molecule of interest are required. Efficient production of high-quality protein crystals for structure determination is one of major bottlenecks in Structural Biology. By improving the throughput and reproducibility of crystal production automation can improve the success rate of this process.
Monash University’s state-of-the-art Protein Crystallisation Facility is currently the largest fully-automated crystal production facility in the world. It comprises the Rigaku CrystalMation system – a fully integrated platform for protein crystallization, allowing design and automated preparation of custom crystallisation formulations, setting up and incubation of crystallisation plates, crystallisation drops visualization and image storage and analysis. Experiments are designed and controlled using the sophisticated CrystalTrak software package that also provides image analysis tools. Two liquid handling robots allow automated preparation of custom crystallisation formulations and setting-up crystallisation plates. The plates are subsequently transferred to temperature-controlled incubators where crystallisation drops are automatically inspected and photographed according to the allocated schedules. The researchers can access their results remotely via a web-based interface. Our high-throughput crystallization facility can perform hundreds of crystallization trials in a very short time frame, using 96-well plate format, non-contact nano-dispensing and as little as ~100 μg of protein per plate (or ~1 μg of protein per condition). More than 5000 crystallisation plates can be incubated simultaneously in 8 incubators.
- Service 1 – Crystallisation of biological macromolecules
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Note that this material was imported form the Victorian Bioportal and content requires updating.