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ISARA a new generation sample changer for macromolecular crystallography

The new demanding requirements from the last generation light sources (diffraction limited storage ring) made IRELEC engineers think about a major evolution of the CATS sample changer.

Based on IRELEC experience and on user’s feedback, the new robotic system ISARA establishes a new standard for MX sample changers, offering a real performance gap with the previous generation.

Four new features are implemented:

  • High throughput capabilities combining a 29-pucks high capacity Dewar (464 stored samples inside Universal pucks) and fast cycle times down to 10 s, thanks to a double gripper
  • Advanced functions for ultimate reliability: The proper operation of a high throughput system requires a high level of reliability. This performance is obtained by avoiding collisions and enabling automatic recoveries (in case of improper sample grabbing or loading)
    • Smart anti-collision system by robot arm current monitoring
    • Automatic teaching of the goniometer and Dewar positions
    • Automatic calibration of the grippers
    • Built-in diagnosis functions
  • Preservation of sample integrity: The Dewar design and the proposed process are minimizing ice formation and are preventing ice to be in contact with the samples
  • Support new high density standards: the sample changer manages Universal Puck as a standard, but also ensures a full compatibility with Mini Spine Standard, thanks to a close collaboration between IRELEC and EMBL (Cipriani team) and license agreements with EMBL-EM.

With Mini Spine standard, IRELEC high capacity Dewar gives access to a 1044 samples storage capacity.

Any CATS system already in operation could be upgraded with the new functionalities brought by ISARA.