The UMR Crystal Harvesting System
The next step in crystal harvesting
As protein crystals continue to decrease in size, the days of human-performed crystal harvesting are numbered. Watch the system harvest a crystal in its tele-operated mode.
High-throughput crystallography, critical to the drug discovery process, has reached a level of efficiency where virtually the entire crystallization pipeline is robotically automated. However, two steps, both performed by expert human operators, remain a crucial bottleneck: crystal harvesting and cryocooling.
Square One Systems Design has developed, built and tested a robotic work cell that eliminates this bottleneck. This first-of-its-kind system enables operator-assisted harvesting of crystals and cryocooling using an anthropomorphic six-axis universal micromanipulation robot with revolutionary benefits:
- Ease of Use - Once the province of professional harvesters earning six figure salaries, crystal harvesting using SQR-1’s Harvester UMR is so easy and simple that even a child can do it (and a 9-year old has successfully harvested a protein crystal using the system’s intuitive interface).
- Harvest More Crystals - Advanced process innovations increase the harvesting window to allow a greater percentage of crystals to be extracted.
- Optimize the Crystallography Pipeline – The reproducibility and data collection capabilities of SQR-1’s Harvester UMR allow, for the first time, these last two stages to be systematically explored and enhanced to decrease costly late-stage crystallization failures.
- Revolutionary Drug Candidates – Below a rapidly approaching size threshold, human-based crystal harvesting becomes impossible. Robotic harvesting enables the impossible and allows for smaller and smaller proteins to be characterized.
SQR-1 is seeking knowledgeable investment partners eager to take this product to market.