Carl-Ivar Brändén building (CIBB)
71, Avenue des Martyrs
CS 90181
F-38042 Grenoble

High Throughput Crystallisation

Purpose of the platform (operated by EMBL and IBS)

Crystallisation Screening

Nanovolume crystallization screening

Sitting drop and hanging drop
from 50 nl to 500 nl. Standard volume 100 + 100 nl
Microlitre Volume crystalliation (at IBS)

Automated Storage and imaging of crystallization plates

4 deg and 20 deg

Secure Web interface


Preparation of optimization crystallization plates.
General advice on crystallization

Transnational Access to the HTX Platform

Since April this year and for the next four years, scientists working in European research institutions can have access to automated crystallization screening at the High Throughput Crystallization laboratory (HTX lab) of the EMBL Grenoble Outstation as part of the PCUBE project, a transnational access initiative within the European Framework Program 7 which provides free access to advanced infrastructures and core facilities.

The crystallisation facility at EMBL Grenoble Outstation, is one of the key platforms of the Partnership for Structural Biology (PSB) and is located next to the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) and the Institute Laue Langevin (ILL). This facility offers completely automated crystallization screening in hanging and sitting drop set ups at two temperatures ( 20 deg and 5 deg ). The facility consists of a high-volume liquid handling station for the production of screens, a Cartesian nanovolume crystallization robot and three automated imaging systems, two operating at 20 deg and one at 5 deg. Results together with all experimental parameters are made available to users in real time through our Crystallization Information Management System (CRIMS), which includes fast and convenient web user interfaces providing advanced tools like Drop Scoring, Drop history, Navigation through project targets and samples and project summaries among others. CRIMS is synchronized with the ESRF automated sample changers and data collection software through ISPyB. Crystallization plates containing crystals are made available to users upon requests (typically during their next synchrotron visit) and facilities for crystal mounting and freezing are provided. In the six years of operation this facility has provided crystallization screening to more than 300 scientists.

To benefit form this program applications should be submitted using the P-cube web form .
Applications will be evaluated by an independent Transnational Access Board and results communicated within 48 hrs. If the application is accepted, researches can send samples related to this project for crystallization to the HTX lab in Grenoble up to four times (a maximum of three samples each time). Beyond this re-application will be necessary. It is possible to apply for more than one project.

Web page of the platform
Firefox 3.0 or Safari recommended


Jose A. Marquez
tel: 0476 20 7425

Staff in charge of the platform

- Crystallization
Florine Dupeux (EMBL)
Martin Roewer (EMBL)
Delphine Blot (IBS)
- Software and User Interface
Gael Seroul (EMBL)
tel: 04 76 20 78 67
- Telephones:
Office 04 76 20 78 53
Robot 04 76 20 94 18
Wet lab 04 76 20 94 40

In practice

Crystallization 04 76 20 78 53
Software 04 76 20 78 67

For commercial access please contact Dr. Marquez

Located at the CIBB
If you need a site entry please send and e-mail to or phone at 04 76 20 78 53

To make crystallization request or register as user:
Crystallisation experiments are performed daily from Tuesday to Friday.
Monday is maintenance day (no robot runs).

To deposit and retrieve samples:
CIBB first floor, Fridge in front of lab 101
wet lab CIBB 101
Robot Lab
CIBB S06 (basement)

Crystallisation screens: Standard crystallisation screens are maintained in stock. For custom crystallisation screens please contact us 3-5 days in advance. It is possible to book experiments up to one moth in advance through the web page. For longer term planning please contact
For high volume demands (more than 6 samples ) please consult us in advance.
Optimisation: For optimisation experiments please contact us at 3-5 days in advance.
Automated Imaging: Plates are kept in the automated imaging system for up to three moths. Images are available through a dedicated web interface ( in all CIBB member institutes including the IBS. After the initial three-month period the plates are given back to the users. Imaging of older plates is possible on demand: Write an e-mail to
and bring your plates to the HTXlab.


If you obtained hits from the experiments in the Cartesian please refer to the "High Throughput Crystallization Laboratory at EMBL Grenoble" both in the methods and the acknowledgements section of your paper citing the citing the following references :

Dimasi N, Flot D, Dupeux F, Márquez JA. “Expression, crystallization and X-ray data collection from microcrystals of the
extracellular domain of the human inhibitory receptor expressed on myeloid cells IREM-1.”
Acta Crystallogr Sect F. 2007 Mar 1 ;63(Pt3):204-8. Epub. 2007 Feb 13.
PMID : 17329815 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]