As part of Instruct-ERIC's efforts to provide new services to the user base, Instruct is exploring the possibility of providing access to technology found in its member countries, but outside of official Instruct Centres. In this vein, Instruct-ULTRA piloted an Open Call for Glycan Analysis, a specialist service provided by the Institute of Chemistry at the Slovak Academy of Sciences. The institute provided expertise in analysis of the structure, conformation, and dynamics of mono-, oligo- and poly-saccharides, their derivatives and glycoconjugates, as well as in weak intermolecular interactions between proteins and carbohydrate molecules. The technology offered by the Institute included physico-analytical methods such as high-resolution nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), mass spectrometry (MS), infrared (IR) and Raman spectroscopy, surface plasmon resonance (SPR), atomic force microscopy (AFM), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), and RTG diffractometry.
Through this Open Call, scientists from Instruct member countries and organisations could apply for funding for the structural analysis of glycan samples. The Open Call was launched at the start of August 2020 on the Instruct-ERIC website and ran in two rounds, finishing at the end of September 2020. The Open Call was promoted via the Instruct Twitter channel, as well as through structural biology mailing lists.
A total of four applications were submitted to the Open Call and all were approved. The analyses were carried out remotely, with applicants sending their samples via post to the Institute, so as to comply with COVID-19 restrictions.
Twitter image used to promote the Glycan Analysis Open Call to Instruct followers.