EMBL Hamburg Biological
Small Angle Scattering

Mail-in access

Mail-in access is encouraged, both for batch measurements with the robotic sample changer and SEC-SAXS measurements.

Please inform both the User Office and your local contact about any safety protocols that are required when handling the samples. For example, if it is necessary to wear full personal protective equipment on transferring samples from one tube to another or, for SEC-SAXS, making up buffers.

Please post your samples and matched buffers well in advance. Even with courier service (FedEx, DHL, TNT, UPS, etc) allow a week for the samples to arrive. Send frozen samples only on Monday or Tuesday to ensure delivery before Saturday.

Please inform the User office and local contact when posting the samples about how the samples are to be stored on delivery. Storage options at P12 include:

  • -80°C,
  • -20°C,
  • 4°C,
  • room temperature.
The samples will be stored exactly according to your instructions. For -80°C and -20°C frozen samples, please inform the local contact how to defrost the samples prior to the SAXS measurement, for example: slowly on ice, in tubes on the bench, or fast-defrosting (e.g., in fingertips).

Please label the sample and buffer tubes very clearly using a permanent marker pen or with a permanent label. This is especially important for frozen samples as it is often the case that hand-written labels rub off during defrosting. Avoid numerical sample names like '6' or '9', '1' or '7' as these can be very easily misinterpreted. Do not randomly scatter individual loose tubes into dry ice or ice packs. Collect the individual tubes into a bag or small box, then place the bag/box into the dry ice or ice packs container. Make sure to seal the tubes (e.g., with parafilm) to prevent 'lid-popping' during shipment.

Do not send samples on water ice.

It is imperative to send a spreadsheet of the sample and buffer names and their concentrations, in mg/ml. Concentrations will not be re-checked on arrival!

Address the samples to:
User Office L108, Attn. [name of your local contact]
Notkestr. 85, Geb. 48e
22607 Hamburg
Tel: +49 40 8990 2111

Please forward to the User office and local contact the tracking number for your package.
Sample shipments from outside of the European Union must explicitly state on the airway bill that the customs should be cleared on behalf of the sender/shipper (the sender bearing the cost) so that we can open the package upon arrival and put it at the right temperature without any delay.

Measurements with the sample changer

For the post-in sample changer service, samples should be supplied in either specific PCR tube strips or 96 well plates.

PCR strips and 1.5 ml Eppendorf tubes

Please post your samples in 8 × 200 μl PCR tube strips and buffers in 1.5 ml Eppendorf tubes. The supplier and catalogue number of the PCR strips and lids are:

  • Sarstedt. cat# 72.985.992 (Multiply® microstrip PCR Tubes (no lid));
  • Sarstedt. cat# 65.989.002 (Multiply® strip of 8 lids).
Make sure the tubes are labelled and well sealed.

96 well plates

The catalogue numbers for the plates and sealing material are:

  • Greiner Bio-One, cat#. 651201 (plates);
  • Greiner Bio-One, cat#. 676070 (Platesealer, ViewSeal, Transparent Sealing Film).

SEC-SAXS Measurements

For the list of available columns, please refer to the SEC-SAXS instructions. We do not provide 3.2/300 columns. We do not accept user-sent columns.

Please inform the local contact about the buffer composition and whether it is necessary to make up the buffer fresh on-site by the local contact, or alternatively, whether the SEC-buffer will be posted along with the samples. If it is necessary to make buffers on-site, please be as specific as possible about the buffer components and composition, for example: (20 mM HEPES pH 6.5) + 100 mM KCl is different to (20 mM HEPES + 100 mM KCl) pH 6.5. For phosphate buffers, please specify the ratio of the di-basic/mono-basic forms of the sodium or potassium components and confirm both concentrations. Please avoid terms like 'PBS', or 'phosphate buffer'.

Expensive buffer components, e.g, detergents, co-factors, etc, cannot be provided. These components must be shipped with the samples and clear instructions made on how to reconstitute them in the buffer/samples and when they should be added.

It is imperative to send a spreadsheet of the sample and buffer names and their concentrations, in mg/ml. Concentrations will not be re-checked on arrival!

  Last modified: September 23, 2020

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