Frequently Asked Questions


  1. Who uses Crystal Shifter?
    Crystal Shifter is used by leading crystallography labs across the world. Our customers include Beamlines, Pharmaceutical, Biotech, Academic, and Research organisations.
  2. Is Crystal Shifter hardware or software?
    Crystal Shifter is not just a hardware device. Our software  has been designed by crystallographers for crystallographers – it covers all common workflows for both small and large labs. All operations are recorded and integrated with popular lab equipment and beamlines. See our Case Studies
  3. Where can OLT deliver the Shifter device?
    Crystal Shifter devices are used worldwide. OLT usually delivers Ex Works but we can deliver direct to customer’s site too.
  4. What Microscopes are supported?
    Most popular brands and models of microscopes used in crystallography are supported. OLT can also provide a compatible microscope to your lab as well a suggested configuration of microscopes.
  5. What maintenance is required for Shifter devices?
    Once the device is set-up to Customer’s needs the Customer will have to keep device clean and dust free. OLT offers customised hardware maintenance, warranty, and support on request.
  6. What should I know before considering purchase of Shifter device?
    We recommends arranging a Shifter Demo (please contact us for a demo). Talking to one of Crystal Shifter labs and seeing device in one of the customer labs is recommended too.

  7. What else will I need to operate Shifter?
    The Crystal Shifter has been designed for use with a Touch-Screen PC and you will also need a Microscope.  Our software can use standard barcode readers for tracking crystals and pucks. 
    Crystal Shifter integrates with a variety of popular lab equipment (e.g. imagers, databases, foot/hand controllers, etc). Please get in touch with OLT to discuss integration with other equipment and accessories. OLT can also provide technical detail/specifications on request to aid purchase of any accessories or compatible equipment.

  8. Can I use Crystal Shifter for imaging hanging drop plates?
    Yes – Crystal Shifter can perform imaging at room temperature for both sitting and hanging drop plates. The imaging feature requires having a microscope camera.

  9. What Plates can I use with Shifter?
    Crystal Shifter is designed for 96 well 3-drop plates in mind, however Shifter supports all popular crystallographic sitting drop plates of similar dimensions. Shifter can accommodate any other plates of similar dimensions.  In the unlikely case the adapter for your plate is not available we can develop this for you.  Please contact us to discuss your exact requirements.

  10. Can Shifter handle hanging drop plates?
    Shifter is designed for and typically used for sitting drop applications but can accommodate hanging drop too in combination with NexTal 15 drop guards.

  11. Can I use different plate types at the same time?

    Shifter operates 2 plates at the time and users can use different plate types at the same time – for example, user can use MRC3 and MRC2 plates simultaneously to perform e.g. to distribute crystals from one plate type to another.