FlexED8 EdgeDewar sample changer shown on BM14.

FlexED8 EdgeDewar sample changer shown on BM14.

Robotics and process development for MX and Cryo-EM

Our team develops instruments and methods for X-ray scattering experiments within the EMBL/ESRF Structural Biology group and contributes to the development of the EMBL@PETRA-III beamlines in Hamburg.

Our core activity is to develop High precision diffractometers and automated sample environments for MX and SAXS beamlines. Recent example is a sample changer based on a 6 axis industrial robot and patented EdgeDewar (Picture). This system called FlexED8 holds up to 252 miniSpine samples holders in 7 pucks maintained in an ice free environment. The Flex technology is being adapted to equip the ESRF MX beamlines and coupled to our CrystalDirect harvester developed in collaboration with the Grenoble HTX lab.

Our technical expertise in high precision mechanics, cryogenics, optics, electronics and software, associated with the scientific input provided by the Synchrotron Crystallography Team ensures the success of our instruments. Most of them are transferred to industry and commercialised worldwide with the support of EMBLEM, the commercial and technology transfer arm of EMBL.

More information

Instrumentation Team

Selected publications

New beamline dedicated to solution scattering from biological macromolecules at the ESRF.
P. Pernot*, A. Round*, P. Theveneau, T. Giraud; R. Nogueira-Fernandes, D. Nurizzo, D. Spruce, J. Surr, S. McSweeney, F. Felisaz, L. Foedinger, A. Gobbo, J. Huet, C. Villard, F. Cipriani
J. Phys.: Conf. Ser. 2010 *247* 012009
*Joint first authorship

Automation of sample mounting for macromolecular crystallography.
Cipriani, F., Felisaz, F., Launer, L., Aksoy, J.S., Caserotto, H., Cusack, S., Dallery, M., di-Chiaro, F., Guijarro, M., Huet, J., Larsen, S., Lentini, M., McCarthy, J., McSweeney, S., Ravelli, R., Renier, M., Taffut, C., Thompson, A., Leonard, G.A. & Walsh, M.A.
Acta Crystallogr D Biol Crystallogr. 2006 Oct;62(Pt 10):1251-9. Epub 2006Sep 19.

Protein microcrystals and the design of a microdiffractometer: current experience and plans at EMBL and ESRF/ID13.
Perrakis, A., Cipriani, F., Castagna, J.C., Claustre, L., Burghammer, M., Riekel, C. & Cusack, S.
Acta Crystallogr D Biol Crystallogr 1999 Oct;55 ( Pt 10):1765-70