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Sample Preparation



For PSB members

For external users

1. Spin down the sample(s) at top speed in a bench-top centrifuge and transfer it into a new tube (1.5ml if possible).
Please, avoid taking any precipitated material and remove all air bubbles. This could potentially block the tips of our robot which would result in sample loss. Make sure you will have enough sample for all the plates you requested (check it here).

2. Mark each tube with:
Your user name
Sample name (Should be exactly the same as in the crystallization request)
Concentration (it can be different than stated in the request, we will update it for you)
IMPORTANT: A sample not registered or without request cannot be processed.

3. Bring your sample(s) in the fridge in front of the lab (CIBB, 1st floor, room 101) in the rack marked as SAMPLES_IN.
If your samples are to be kept at room temperature please let us know.

Limit times for sample delivery:

Morning run Before 9h30 (9:30 a.m.)
Afternoon run     Before 13h30 (13:30 p.m.)

4. Sample(s) are then processed by the HTX staff. When the plates are ready you will receive an e-mail.
According to your request, the plates will be found either in the inspection robots for automated imaging (at 20 or 4°C) OR for pick-up in the HTX-Crystallization rooms.
IMPORTANT: Sample leftovers can be picked up from the SAMPLES_OUT shelf in the HTX lab fridge. All processed samples will be discarded after three days !

Send your samples to the following address :

High Throughput Crystallization Lab

EMBL Grenoble Outstation

71 avenue des martyrs

38000 Grenoble


We suggest to flash-freeze your samples in liquid nitrogen in aliquot not bigger than 120µl and to store them in a -80°C freezer until shipment. Flash-freezing using a -20°C or -80°C freezer should be avoided.

For fresh samples (transported at 4°C or at room temperature) we recommend to schedule your experiments well in advance, in order to allow a rapid processing of the samples upon arrival.

We recommend to send your sample(s) at least 3 days before the run date. Sample(s) will be kept at -80°C upon delivery until the run date. If the sample is frozen we advise to use a large box with at least 3.5 kg of dry ice, irrespective of the size of the sample. This will ensure that the sample keeps frozen for at least 48 hours. If you don't want the sample(s) to be kept at -80degC, please contact the HTX staff. Upon arrival, the HTX staff will let you know of the good reception of your samples.

Please be aware of the French holiday calendar and not to send samples on a Thursday (most time express delivery takes 24 hours but occasionally it may take longer, and there is no delivery on site during the weekend.

Just before crystallization, acidification of the sample(s) is prevented by venting the headspace prior to thawing (1). Sample(s) are then thawed on ice and spun down (10min at top speed), unless a specific protocol is specified.



1. Murphy et al., Nat Methods. 2013 Apr;10(4):278-9