FAQ for Crystallization Setups

Why are crystallization setups performed by the core?

Setting up crystallization experiments by hand consumes time and sample. The crystallization core uses a nanodispenser called the Mosquito to make hanging-drop trays containing 288 unique conditions that may crystallize a sample. The automated setup of a single tray of 288 conditions only takes three minutes.

How do I prepare a sample?

Contact Michael Collazo at mcollazo@mbi.ucla.edu or (310) 882-2585 to set up a time to run the experiments before preparing your samples. Once you have an appointment, set aside 40 uL per sample that you would like to crystallize (2-5 trays is common). Refer to literature or ask for a recommendation when selecting a sample concentration. We highly recommend a 0.2 micron filter immediately before running the sample for best results.

You will be trained to identify crystals using a stereo microscope. Use a sharpie to mark wells of interest and clearly circle wells with crystals so staff can easily assist you with the crystals. Most crystals grow in 2-3 days. Some take months to appear. Ask for advice and check in with Michael Collazo to best manage your experiment.

Fees

The Crystallization Core is a breakeven facility. Fees cover the costs of the specialized materials and solutions used to make crystallization trays. Each tray costs $40 and yields 288 unique conditions.