- Success Stories
The Crystal Former
The Crystal Former is a microfluidic device for protein crystallization that exploits the favorable physical conditions occurring at the microscale. This environment, when combined with the Crystal Former's special materials, unique surface treatment, and proprietary mixing kinetics substantially improve crystallization success.
The newest SBS Crystal Former (available as CF-HT2-10, MCK2-HT or MCK2-HT-M) is a true high output and high throughput device. The new format strictly complies with SBS requirements, including a standard 9mm pitch for the sample inlets which render the devices fully compatible with all standard liquid handling and crystallization robots. The new low-profile skirt and improved rear foils improve the overall user experience, facilitating automating imaging and crystal harvesting. The SBS Crystal Former is an easy and effective addition to any crystallization workflow.
Crystal Former Advantages
No external equipment is required
- The Crystal Former can be operated with standard pipettes or liquid-handling robots. Adter loading precipitant and protein solutions, the microfluidic architecture encourages proper mixing and separation of individual crystallization reactions.
Reaction chamber dimensions
- The Crystal Former benefits from low sample consumption because of reaction volumes of 0.5 µL or less. The size of the chamber allows crystals to grow large enough for immediate X-ray diffraction studies. Furthermore, the dimensions of the chamber allow a large number of chemical conditions to be sampled while the solutions equilibrate, thus increasing the probability that crystals will be obtain during initial screening.
Optimal mixing kinetics
- Although reaction chambers are large enough to facilitate the growth of usable high-quality crystals, individual reaction chambers are small enough so that viscous forces dominate. Additionally, the mixing of precipitant and protein inside the Crystal Former allows the gentle manipulation of protein solubility. This means that precipitant and protein solutions can mix optimally, allowing protein phase space to be thoroughly explored.
Direct Access to crystals
- The Crystal Former allows users to collect crystals grown inside the chip. This enables collection of diffraction patterns from crystals grown in the Crystal Former without the need to repeat experiments in larger volumes, or using different techniques. Direct access also permits a smaller crystals to be harvested for subsequent seeding experiments.