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Crystal Dehydration 

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Collaboration has been established between the EMBL Grenoble, MAX-lab and Diamond to develop crystal dehydration methods to improve the diffraction quality of macromolecular crystals using the HC1-x dehydration device developed at the EMBL-Grenoble, and to extend the use of the device for modifying crystals online.


Supported dehydration experiments can be carried out at the ESRF/EMBL, MAX-lab and Diamond


The first step in these experiments is to define the relative humidity in equilibrium with the mother liquor of the system under study; this can often be quite time-consuming. In order to reduce the time spent on this stage of the experiment, the equilibrium relative humidity for a range of concentrations of the most commonly used precipitants has been measured. The relationship between the precipitant solution and equilibrium relative humidity is explained by Raoult's law for the equilibrium vapour pressure of water above a solution. The concentration of buffers, additives and detergents used will have a negligable effect on the RH in equilibrium with the mother liquor and is dominated by the primary precipitant.


Click here to access the RH calculation applet.








EMBL Grenoble

Diffraction Instrumentation Team

Diamond Light Source

 IO2 beamline


Cassiopeia beamline


BL14.3 beamline




Matthew Bowler

Alexandre Gobbo

Florent Cipriani

Juan Sanchez-Weatherby

Thomas Sorensen

Krister Larsson

Marjolein Thunnissen

Uwe Muller





External contributors

ESRF European Synchrotron Radiation Facility

David Flot