IceBear: Research Data Management
for Structural Biology

Intuitive crystal fishing

IceBear's flexible crystal fishing options tie your crystal data to your pins and pucks for onward shipping, with no typing needed.


If you find an interesting crystal and want to fish it onto a pin for testing on a home source or for storage in canes, you can do this within the drop viewer. Simply scan the pin barcode, and IceBear will associate the crystal with that pin.

QuickFish is intended for fishing a single crystal, and only works with barcoded pins.

Crystal fishing workbench

Crystal fishing workbench

IceBear's crystal fishing workbench is designed to record extended crystal fishing sessions with the minimum of interaction.

First scan your plate, pins, pucks, and optionally shipping dewars to add them to the workbench. Then just drag the crystals to the pins using the mouse or a touch screen.

By default, after fishing a crystal to a pin, that pin is moved automatically to the first empty position in the first available puck. Crystal fishing is thus a single drag-and-drop action. You can turn this option off if you prefer.

If you find an interesting crystal while fishing, you can mark it without leaving the crystal fishing workbench just by clicking the drop image; you don't need to go to the drop viewer.

Flexibility to suit your working practice

For maximum accuracy and verifiability throughout the entire fishing, shipping and data collection process, we recommend that you use barcoded pins. But if you don't have them, just drag the crystal directly to the puck; IceBear will create a dummy pin and place it in the first empty puck position.

Optionally, you can add notes and provide any additional information immediately after fishing a crystal. You can always do this from the drop viewer or the crystal's own dedicated page.

Especially with many small crystals, you may not be able to (or may not want to) identify which specific crystal you fished. Instead of opening the drop image, marking a crystal, and dragging it to a pin, you can drag from the well in the plate overview directly to the pin; IceBear will create a crystal in that well for you.

The fishing interface really comes into its own when used with a touch screen, but can also be used with a regular monitor and mouse. Later versions of IceBear will support audio recording, letting you keep your hands free during fishing.

Supports pin re-use

IceBear supports re-use of crystal pins, even barcoded ones. A dedicated after-shipment interface helps you unpack your containers. In the simple case where all pucks in the dewar are to be emptied and all pins washed, just scanning the dewar barcode is all you need to do.

No up-front pain

You can pre-register all your containers, but you don't have to. If you scan a new barcode, just one click will tell IceBear what kind of pin, puck or dewar it is, register it, and add it to the workbench.

Onward processing

If you are fishing to prepare a crystal shipment, you can drag your pucks into one or more shipping dewars. Clicking the "Ship this dewar" link passes the dewar(s) straight into IceBear's crystal shipping page.

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