MRC-LMB Crystallisation Facility: overview

MRC plates containing crystallisation initial screens from various suppliers are made freely available (80 µl of a condition in each reservoir). These pre-filled plates are called "LMB plates". There are 21 LMB plates: LMB01-LMB21. They are stored in 10°C incubators that are located within the facility (Screen Banks 1 and 2).

Drops are set with nanolitre dispensing robots (mainly TTP's MOSQUITO). A common approach is single drops of 200 nl final volume with 1:1 ratio (100 nl protein + 100 nl condition). The user will then need 336 µl of sample when preparing the 21 LMB plates (16 µl per plate; 2,016 initial conditions in total). A fully automated system can be used for setting up drops, although more sample is required compare to proceeding with stand-alone robot (22 µl per plate). Other protocols are available (different volumes/ratios, 2 drops, seeding, etc).

Standard optimisation screens are prepared according to the 4-corner method. Linear gradients of concentrations are produced directly into plates with liquid-handlers (such as TTP's DRAGONFLY). Stock solutions are initially prepared by the user with the help of MS Excel formulation worksheets. Larger volume MAXI plates and the corresponding protocols are available for scale-up experiments (48 chambers, 1 drop, 200 µl in each MAXI reservoir). Other consumables enable hanging-drops and under-oil experiments. Some additive screens are available in LMB's Stores (frozen MRC plates, 8 µl per reservoir). The user will top up the reservoirs with 72 µl of the selected initial conditions prior to setting drops.

Plates containing experiments are stored in one of the five crystal growth rooms (see main page)

Some consumables are available in the facility and/or in Stores, although other consumables have to be ordered separately.


Fabrice Gorrec, room 2N155, (+44 1223 26) 7807,


Jan Löwe, room 2N159, (+44 1223 26) 7064,

Olga Perisic, lab 2S069, (+44 1223 26) 7893,

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Last Updated 2/12/15