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J Synchrotron Radiat. 2013 Nov;20(Pt 6):890-3. doi: 10.1107/S0909049513021067. Epub 2013 Oct 1.

Improvement of an automated protein crystal exchange system PAM for high-throughput data collection.

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Structural Biology Research Center, Photon Factory, Institute of Materials Structural Science, High Energy Accelerator Research Organization, 1-1 Oho, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-0801, Japan.


Photon Factory Automated Mounting system (PAM) protein crystal exchange systems are available at the following Photon Factory macromolecular beamlines: BL-1A, BL-5A, BL-17A, AR-NW12A and AR-NE3A. The beamline AR-NE3A has been constructed for high-throughput macromolecular crystallography and is dedicated to structure-based drug design. The PAM liquid-nitrogen Dewar can store a maximum of three SSRL cassettes. Therefore, users have to interrupt their experiments and replace the cassettes when using four or more of them during their beam time. As a result of investigation, four or more cassettes were used in AR-NE3A alone. For continuous automated data collection, the size of the liquid-nitrogen Dewar for the AR-NE3A PAM was increased, doubling the capacity. In order to check the calibration with the new Dewar and the cassette stand, calibration experiments were repeatedly performed. Compared with the current system, the parameters of the novel system are shown to be stable.


automated system; protein crystallography; sample-exchange robot

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