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Use of the honeybee 963

The Honeybee 963 is a crystallisation robot that has been set up with a simple set of templates to use either 2 shelf MRC plates or 3 shelf Greiner plates. With either plate combination, programmes exist to use either all the sample shelves or a subset. Crystallsation screens are availible for use on the robot in 96x 1ml deepwell format.

The device is set up to dispence 200 nanolitre drops into 96 positions. Thus, a single 96 x shelf experiment requires @ 30microlitres of sample. A short video sequence showing the device dispencing crystal screen and protein samples into a Greiner tray is shown here.

The device is pictured below. The deck on which the plates are placed has 4 positions 4,3,2,1 from left to right. The far right position (4) is where the crystal screen in a 1ml deepwell block is placed. Position 3 is where the crystallisation plate is placed. WARNING: the orrientation of this plate is critical. Crystallisation plates have letters on their left hand side and must be positioned with these letters on the left hand side of position 3 on the deck. if the other orrientation is used, the device will crash during operation and you will have a big bill!. Position 1 is the permanent position for the needle wash station. At present position 2 is unused but eventually we will set up a second crystallisation plate in this position so that duplicate trays can be made up at once. If you click on the image below it will expand to reveal details of the device.

Before use and at the end of each set of experiments, the device needs to be cleaned using the "start and end of day wash" programme. This simply requires the user to place a 1ml deep well plate filled with ethanol or isopropanol in position 4, to ensure that the 10L water wash tank below the bench is full and the waste tank empty, and for the user to run the appropriate programme from the PC. This sequence takes approximately 5 minutes.