CSSB Centre for Structural Systems Biology
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Key Facts

  • Next to beamlines at PETRA III.
  • Equipped for initial and customized screening.
  • CrystalDirect technology and automated crystal harvesting.

Available Instruments

  • Mosquito LCP (two units)
  • Scorpion Screen Formulator
  • Biomec 4000 (liquid handling platform)
  • Rock Imager at 4 and 19 °C
  • Automatic crystal harvester (CrystalDirect)


 The HTX facility offers a variety of services related to protein crystallisation:

  • Automatic setup of crystallization trays using Mosquito-LCP
  • Low volume crystallisation screening for sitting and hanging drop experiments
  • >30 commercial screens available
  • Crystal condition optimisation
  • Large storage capacity at 19ºC and 4ºC
  • Specialised Crystal information management system (CRIMS) to schedule and monitor experiments.
  • Automated image acquisition (Vis/UV) and remote access environment for the user via the CRIMS system.

Further information

Our high-throughput crystallization laboratory offers initial crystallization screens from various suppliers as well as customized screens for optimization of initial hits, both suitable for soluble and membrane proteins. Drops are set with nanolitre dispensing robots; the TTP’s MOSQUITO equipped with an LCP (Lipidic Cubic Phase) module. Online observation of the plates is possible via the Crystallization Information Management System (CRIMS), which makes results available to users in real-time, along with all experimental parameters. We offer the CrystalDirect® technology, able to harvest protein crystals from 96-well CrystalDirectTM plates by means of laser photoablation. We facilitate access to Biological SAXS measurements with near-real time outputs of structural parameters and low resolution solution-state structures in collaboration with the SAXS group.

Access to the HTX and SAXS services and resources

  • The facility is a fee-for-service (non-profit) technology platform operated by EMBL. We provide support and expertise for local scientists, the international research community and users from industry.
  • All users must follow a safety training before working in our laboratories. Complete the SPC safety briefing and examination before your visit though SMIS. Please go to the Safety tab and select "Standard Training." All users are required to undergo training before access to the individual instruments is granted.
  • Booking and more information about crystallisation can be found on our SPC crystallisation platform (CRIMS): https://htx.embl-hamburg.de
  • Please get in touch with us to discuss your specific needs.


Our acknowledgement policy

Please acknowledge any substantial contributions of the SPC Facility to your research in publications. Please state the following in the acknowledgement section of your publication: “We acknowledge technical support by the SPC facility at EMBL Hamburg”.

Please don't forget to let us know when you publish papers that acknowledge us. This will help us keep track and to justify the existence of the facility to funding bodies.


HTX Facility



Facility Head

Maria Garcia Alai



EMBL Hamburg
c/o DESY, Building 48e
Notkestraße 85


European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL)

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