Florent Cipriani

NewPin: Towards a New Sample Holder Standard for Macromolecular X-ray Crystallography
Presenter Florent Cipriani

Florent Cipriania, Gergely Pappa, Anthony Astruca

aEuropean Molecular Biology Laboratory, Grenoble Outstation, France, cipriani@embl.fr

The SPINE sample holder standard [1] has been essential for the automation of macromolecular x-ray crystallography (MX) in Europe. Motivated by the continuously increasing flow of samples at MX beamlines and by the emergence of automated harvesters, studies are ongoing for a more compact and more precise sample holder for frozen crystallography. Lead by the EMBL Grenoble, this “NewPin” collaborative project involves most of the European synchrotrons. It is part-supported by the FP7 European program BioStruct-X. First aim is to reduce the transporting costs of frozen samples and to reduce pucks turnover at beamlines.  The second aim would be to facilitate crystal alignment at beamlines using a design that allows precise 3D positioning of the sample holder on its support. Ultimately, automated harvesting systems like “CrystalDirect” [2] could record the coordinates of the harvested crystals to directly align them at beamlines. The sample holder models proposed to progressively reach these objectives will be presented, the results obtained at the ESRF/EMBL BM14 beamline shown and the challenges to finalize and integrate this new standard at beamlines discussed.


[1] Acta Cryst. (2006)  D62, 1251–1259,
[2] Acta Cryst. (2012). D68, 1393–1399