Choosing LCP Plates

Background
Laminex™ is a versatile system for crystallizing proteins between two planar surfaces particularly useful for in meso phase methods normally referred to as lipidic cubic phase or sponge phase which are lipid bilayer 3 dimensional structures capable of supporting membrane proteins in a manner similar to a natural biological membrane.

Laminex offers considerable advantages for viewing and imaging such crystal growth experiments since the viscous ”drop” experiment is sandwiched between planar surfaces. The flat optical path then creates no aberrations even when using lipidic cubic phases.


Crystals grown using MemMeso™ in Laminex plates

Typically, when used for the crystallization of membrane proteins in lipidic cubic and sponge phases the phase is dispensed onto a surface and reagents are pipetted onto it allowing the crystallizing agents to diffuse into the lipidic drop.

Laminex Composition
The sandwich basically consists of a lower plate with an adhesive spacer to form the wells and a cover plate or film to seal the wells. However there are personal preferences with respect to materials and the depth of the spacer.


Laminex with SBS frame

The Laminex system is built up from lower support plates of glass or UV transparent plastic with an either a 200 or 100 micron thick adhesive spacer to separate the base from the cover. On to this base, glass or UV transparent films can be applied to create 96 chambers for crystal growth.
The system is also available to either fit onto an SBS frame or frameless, in which case the lower plate is itself SBS size. The choice of size will depend on the imaging system to be used. Imaging hotel systems that use a gripper arm that holds the sides of sbs plates will need to use the Laminex Frame and standard size Laminex plates. Imaging hotel system where the gripper arm supports the sandwich and is higher capacity for frameless systems require the sbs size Laminex plates (Laminex-HT).


Laminex HT
Materials
The user can choose materials based on their personal preferences and priorities to make up a complete sandwich kit.

Glass systems are the most popular, however limit the possibility of using UV fluorescence for protein crystal identification since glass absorbs UV light. Crystals grown in meso phases are extremely difficult to see and so UV transparent plastics may be chosen instead. If using a glass cover sheet crystals can be harvested by scoring with a tungsten scriber a double square around the well and pressing on one corner to raise a window cover to access the ”drop” - detailed instructions here.

Plastic systems are more useful for imaging with UV fluorescence. In additon to the two base plates with spacers (100 & 200 µm) we offer two covers, the more popular 100µm film cover is easier to use when harvesting crystals as it can be cut with a scalpel blade. This film cover has a limited permeability to water vapour so may not be preferred for long-term crystal growth experiments - In such cases a 200µm film is recommended although not as easy to cut.

If you're still not sure, do feel free to try out our starter kits - available with 100 µm or 200 µm spacers.

The full range can be found here.


E-mail us on enquiries@moleculardimensions.com if you have any questions

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