MXpress: mail-in service (MX)

Protein / macromolecular crystallography data collection service: MXpress


Protein crystallography service

Send us your pre-frozen samples by courier for our expert staff to perform your data collection. Even whilst the experiments are being carried out, the collected data are available to you in real time. The final report is sent rapidly once the measurements have been completed.

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How to book an MXpress experiment

Detailed instructions


There are six types of service.

  1. Test: Two images per sample are taken at 90 degrees apart. These, together with the DNA/EDNA output (software used for data characterisation and strategy prediction), are provided to the client.
  2. Data set: Data are collected according to the strategy options obtained using DNA/EDNA. Such data sets will have a minimum completeness of 95% and an average multiplicity of 2.5.  The data set does not include a Test.
  3. Data set collected to user specification: Where space group information is not known or not provided by the client, or where the client requires highly redundant data, including data collection for structure solution. The specified data collect does not include a Test.
  4. Puck Screen: Diffraction tests are carried out on all 10 samples as specified in 1) above. DNA/EDNA output is transmitted to the client prior to any further data collection.
  5. Fluorescence scan: scan of the absorption edge of interest used as a preamble of a MAD or SAD data collection / XRF spectrum: spectrum showing the nature of the elements inside the sample.
  6. Analysis of crystallisation plates: 96, 192, 288 drops and microfluidic plates on FIP/BM30A beamline. Screening, test of selected crystals, short data collection for indexation and longer data collection are possible. Price list upon request.

Microfocus experiments may be charged at the specified data collection rate if the crystal is difficult to align in the beam.  This is at the ESRF crystallographer's discretion. 

Important! All samples must be mounted in SPINE standard sample support pins: 

Please contact Dr Elspeth Gordon or Dr Stéphanie Monaco for further information (

You will need to submit:

Our staff will inform you about the availability of your data and send you the experimental report by e-mail. You will then be able to retrieve your data through secure FTP.

Here are some technical aspects, don't hesitate to contact us for further details:

  • Sample support (description for MXpress but also for IX users concerning the SPINE standard supports compatible with our sample changers installed on all our MX beamlines)
  • Advice for dewar shipping and tracking (before your experiment or for MXpress)
  • How to use our LIMS called ISPYB to inform us about your samples and access to your experiment report
  • Data retrieval by SFTP