Watershed System Kit

Get up and running with the system that will forever change how your lab harvests crystals.

The Watershed™ System Kits provides all of the equipment needed to start looping crystals without your drops drying out and to enable your lab to perform controlled dehydration studies.

The WaterShed System was developed in collaboration with Prof. Douglas Juers (Whitman College).

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Product Information

Watershed provides a controlled humidity environment for a wide range of common sample preparation tasks, including

  • separating crystals from each other, from precipitate, and from protein skins that may form over crystallization drops;
  • soaking crystals in solutions containing cryoprotectants, heavy atoms or ligands;
  • harvesting crystals from drops onto X-ray sample mounts;
  • blotting or wicking away excess liquid from crystals to reduce background X-ray scatter and increase sample cooling rates during plunge cooling;
  • placing crystals in MiTeGen’s MicroRT capillaries or glass capillaries for room temperature data collection; and
  • adjusting the hydration of crystals to a desired relative humidity, which may be different from their as-grown relative humidity, to modify protein structure or optimize diffraction properties.

Watershed consists of a water tank, a control unit, and two workstations that provide controllable Relative Humidity Range of  72% to >90%. Water content of the compressed air supply affects the lowest achievable humidity. 72% RH tested with 23°C water and 6% RH air source.

The Humidified Chamber Workstation accepts drops on 18 or 22 mm cover slips or on standard microscope slides. Crystals can be harvested and manipulated within the workstation using standard crystal loops, goniometer bases, and magnetic wands, while being observed from above using a long-working distance stereo microscope.  Once mounted, the sample can be transferred to a cryovial containing humid air, and the sample + cryovial can then be removed and transported to, e.g., a cryocooling setup.

The Directed Nozzle Workstation can be used with crystals in multiwell crystallization plates to provide a humidified air flow directed at a well being examined.  This workstation can also be used with a laboratory X-ray source to controllably vary the hydration of a crystal during diffraction data collection.

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