Fragment-based and structure-based drug discovery projects require regular and frequent proprietary access to macromolecular crystallography (MX) beamlines at synchrotron facilities. However, geographic location, shutdown periods, limited human resources and beamtime availability can restrict the access to such facilities.
Each synchrotron visit requires complex and time consuming logistics. Companies usually have to mobilise at least two skilled and experienced scientists for the duration of the whole synchrotron trip, which includes both experiment and travel time. In addition, accommodation may be needed as collecting data requires staying focused throughout the visit, even during a long night shift. Thus, a single visit can easily extend to more than two days and incur significant travel and accommodation costs, especially if the facility is not located close to the home laboratory.
At Diamond, a remote access data collection option is available on all our MX beamlines. Our environment is highly automated, to the extent that hundreds of samples are now routinely collected with minimal user input. Each beamline is operated via an intuitive and flexible graphical user interface. This can be easily accessed, from the user’s site, via a secure connection. Providing the samples are sent to Diamond ahead of the visit, our users can collect their data and obtain rapid experimental feedback without leaving the comfort of their office.
Our remote access mode is increasingly growing in popularity. It is a convenient and cost effective way to source beamtime, making tedious and tiring synchrotron trips obsolete. Users can stick to their daily “routine” while waiting to collect data on their samples from their own laboratory. As no previous experience of our environment is required, this mode is also an excellent opportunity for overseas users to access our facility. As is standard for our industrial service at Diamond, excellent technical support is provided throughout the visit.
Diamond Light Source is the UK's national synchrotron science facility, located at the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus in Oxfordshire.
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