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The XBI BioLab for life science experiments at the European XFEL
Huijong Han, Ekaterina Round, Robin Schubert, Yasmin Gül, Jana Makroczyová, Domingo Meza, Philipp Heuser, Martin Aepfelbacher, Imrich Barák, Christian Betzel, Petra Fromme, Inari Kursula, Poul Nissen, Elena Tereschenko, Joachim Schulz, Charlotte Uetrecht, Jozef Ulicný, Matthias Wilmanns, Janos Hajdu, Victor S. Lamzin, and Kristina LorenzenJ. Appl. Cryst. 54, 721 (2021)
The science of X-ray free-electron lasers (XFELs) critically depends on the performance of the X-ray laser and on the quality of the samples placed into the X-ray beam. The stability of biological samples is limited and key biomolecular transformations occur on short timescales. Experiments in biology require a support laboratory in the immediate vicinity of the beamlines. The XBI BioLab of the European XFEL (XBI denotes XFEL Biology Infrastructure) is an integrated user facility connected to the beamlines for supporting a wide range of biological experiments. The laboratory was financed and built by a collaboration between the European XFEL and the XBI User Consortium, whose members come from Finland, Germany, the Slovak Republic, Sweden and the USA, with observers from Denmark and the Russian Federation. Arranged around a central wet laboratory, the XBI BioLab provides facilities for sample preparation and scoring, laboratories for growing prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells, a Bio Safety Level 2 laboratory, sample purification and characterization facilities, a crystallization laboratory, an anaerobic laboratory, an aerosol laboratory, a vacuum laboratory for injector tests, and laboratories for optical microscopy, atomic force microscopy and electron microscopy. Here, an overview of the XBI facility is given and some of the results of the first user experiments are highlighted.
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