CrystalDirect is a fully automated crystal harvesting system currently operating at the EMBL Grenoble and Hamburg outstations. The CrystalDirect harvester automatically harvests, cryo-cools and mounts on sample holders, crystals grown on an ultra-thin film directly compatible with X-ray data collection. Here, we report on CrystalDirect-to-Beam, a proof of concept made at the ESRF beamline ID30B, where a CrystalDirect harvester was coupled to the sample changer and diffractometer of the beamline. In this setup, pre-identified crystals provided in CrystalDirect crystallization plates are automatically harvested and directly transferred to the goniometer for X-ray data collection at cryogenic or room temperature. Crystal harvestings and data collections in cryo conditions have been automatically operated in a pipeline with model proteins, with results similar to those obtained with traditional methods. Experiments conducted at room temperature using a crystal dehydration device have shown that it is possible to harvest crystals and collect data at room temperature in optimal background conditions without manual intervention, and to automate time consuming crystal dehydration experiments. With CrystalDirect-to-Beam, we propose a new and flexible way to deliver crystals at beamlines, which minimizes sample handling and shortens crystal to data turnaround.

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