University of Oulu

Han, H., Round, E., Schubert, R., Gül, Y., Makroczyová, J., Meza, D., Heuser, P., Aepfelbacher, M., Barák, I., Betzel, C., Fromme, P., Kursula, I., Nissen, P., Tereschenko, E., Schulz, J., Uetrecht, C., Ulicný, J., Wilmanns, M., Hajdu, J., Lamzin, V., Lorenzen, K. (2021) The XBI BioLab for life science experiments at the European XFEL. Journal of applied crystallography, 54 (1), 7-21.

The XBI BioLab for life science experiments at the European XFEL

Saved in:
Author: Han, Huijong1,2; Round, Ekaterina3; Schubert, Robin1,4,5;
Organizations: 1European XFEL GmbH, Holzkoppel 4, 22869 Schenefeld, Germany
2Biocenter Oulu and Faculty of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine, University of Oulu, Aapistie 7, 90220 Oulu, Finland
3European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Notkestrasse 85, 22607 Hamburg, Germany
4Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Laboratory for Structural Biology of Infection and Inflammation, University of Hamburg, c/o DESY, Building 22a, Notkestrasse 85, 22603 Hamburg, Germany
5The Hamburg Centre for Ultrafast Imaging (CUI), Luruper Chaussee 149, 22761 Hamburg, Germany
6Institute of Molecular Biology, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Dúbravská cesta 21, 845 51 Bratislava, Slovak Republic
7Biodesign Center for Applied Structural Discovery and School of Molecular Sciences, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, USA
8Institute of Medical Microbiology, Virology and Hygiene, University Medical Center Hamburg Eppendorf, Martinistrasse 52, 20246 Hamburg, Germany
9Department of Biomedicine, University of Bergen, Jonas Lies vei 91, 5009 Bergen, Norway
10DANDRITE, Nordic EMBL Partnership for Molecular Medicine, Aarhus University, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Gustav Wieds Vej 10C, DK – 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark
11Institute of Crystallography, Russian Academy of Sciences, 59 Leninsky prospekt, Moscow, 117333, Russian Federation
12Heinrich Pette Institute, Leibniz Institute for Experimental Virology, Martinistrasse 52, 20251 Hamburg, Germany
13Department of Biophysics, Institute of Physics, Faculty of Science, P. J. Šafárik University, Jesenná 5, 04154 Košice, Slovak Republic
14The European Extreme Light Infrastructure, Institute of Physics, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Za Radnici 835, 25241 Dolní Břežany, Czech Republic
15Laboratory of Molecular Biophysics, Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, Uppsala University, Husargatan 3 (Box 596), SE-751 24 Uppsala, Sweden
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.3 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: John Wiley & Sons, 2021
Publish Date: 2021-04-21


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.

see all

Series: Journal of applied crystallography
ISSN: 0021-8898
ISSN-E: 1600-5767
ISSN-L: 0021-8898
Volume: 54
Pages: 7 - 21
DOI: 10.1107/S1600576720013989
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 1182 Biochemistry, cell and molecular biology
Funding: Initial funding for the project came from the Swedish Research Council as in-kind contributions to the European XFEL (822-2010-6157 and 828-2012-108), XBI User Consortium at XFEL (822-2012-5260), Future Biology with Advanced Light Sources (349-2011-6488) and Bio-imaging at the European XFEL (628-200811099). The project received further support from the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) via grant 05K2016/BIOXFEL in terms of the Röntgen–Ångström Cluster as well as from the German Ministry for Education and Research grant ID 031L0100, and the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic grant APVV-18-0104. Additional support came from the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation: Bright Light (KAW-2011.081); the European Research Council: XLASERS (ERC-291602); and the European Development Fund: Structural dynamics of biomolecular systems (ELIBIO) (CZ.02.1.01/0.0/0.0/15_003/0000447). The MS SPIDOC project is financed by the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 801406.
Copyright information: This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) Licence, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original authors and source are cited.