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The latest in scientific instrumentation

The Goal

In the field of structural biology research, researchers frequently use “macromolecular crystallography” or “MX crystallography” methods.

The use of this technique involves the upstream preparation of biological samples, including crystallizing these samples and then harvesting the crystals thus obtained.

The number of researchers and research projects using this approach is constantly growing and requires an acceleration of the crystal preparation process.

The challenge for research centres is therefore to fully automate sample preparation.

CrystalDirect® solution

One of the challenges is to automate the crystal harvesting, until now done manually or semi-manually (i.e. computer assisted).

The automated solution must combine speed, precision and robustness while guaranteeing the interoperability of the equipment with the “automation chain” for sample preparation.

To meet this challenge, Maatel’s partner, the EMBL, has developed the CrystalDirect® system which combines femto-second laser technology, advanced optical systems and the use of a robotized assembly allowing 1 crystal harvest per minute with an accuracy of around 99.8% and excellent reproducibility.

The system integrates a software interface to exchange information with a web application, CRIMS, which manages the entire sample preparation chain.

Maatel’s contribution

Through its Arinax team (scientific instrumentation), Maatel brings its expertise in industrialization of equipment to:

Ensure specification reproducibility

Secure the use of the product
(machine standard, robotized movements, laser safety,…)

Improve and enrich software functions

Ensure compatibility of the equipment with
the rest of the automated preparation chain

Optimize production costs

Obtain the CE certification

The license granted by the EMBL allows Arinax to market the equipment in France and internationally.

Arinax’s multidisciplinary team also provides equipment integration services in the laboratory as well as the entire after-sales service directly with the end user.

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