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Biophysical Resources


This facility has the mission to provide technical support to research groups in several precision instruments for characterization of macromolecules and their interactions, namely:

  • Isothermal calorimetry (iTC), a thermodynamic technique that directly measures heat released or absorbed during biochemical binding events.
    Often used to e.g. study the binding of small molecules to larger macromolecules (proteins, DNA) / enzyme-inhibitor / protein-protein/ protein-DNA / protein-lipid / Protein-carbohydrate.
  • Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC): thermoanalytical technique in which the difference in the amount of heat required to increase the temperature of a sample and reference is measured as a function of temperature. Both the sample and reference are maintained at nearly the same temperature throughout the experiment.
    Used for studies in e.g. analisys of sample purity / vitreous transition temperature (Tg) / fusion temperature / crystalization temperature / (proteins) melting point / calorific capacity / polimers characterization / phase transitions / crosslinking behaviour.
  • Dynamic Light Scattering (DLS): quickly and easily determines the size distribution profile of macromolecules or nanoparticles in suspension or in solution.
    It can also be used for Protein Zeta Potential and Molecular Weight measurements.
  • Thermogravimeter Analyser (TGA): measures the amount and rate of change in the weight of a material as a function of temperature or time in a controlled atmosphere.
    Used for studies in e.g. Thermal stability of materials / composition of multicomponent systems / estimated lifetime of a product / decomposition kinetics of materials / moisture and volatiles content of materials chain scission / crosslinking behaviour.
  • Circular Dichroism (CD): spectrometer for estimation of protein secondary structure composition and e.g. analysis of thermal stability.
  • Fluorescence Spectrophotometer: measures the fluorescence signature of an analyte in a sample based on its specific excitation and emission wavelengths. The fluorescence signature can be correlated to the concentration level of the analyte in the sample. A spectrofluorometer can be used in basic and applied research, biofuels analysis, biotechnology applications, quality control, medical diagnostics, plasma monitoring and polymer analysis and as a tool in teaching laboratories.
  • VP-DSC Calorimeter: The MicroCal VP-DSC is a highly sensitive, differential scanning calorimeter for the study of samples in solution. It is used to directly measure the intramolecular stability of structured macromolecules such as proteins and nucleic acids as well as the intermolecular stability of complexes such as oligomeric proteins, nucleic acid duplexes and lipid and detergent micellar systems.


Please contact Paula ( for further information.

Equipment available:

  • TGA Q50, TA
  • CD Spectrometer J-815, Jasco
  • Cary Eclipse Fluorescence Spectrophotometer, Varian
  • DLS Zetasizer Nano ZS, Malvern
  • DSC Q200, TA
  • Microcal iTC-200, GE
  • VP-DSC, Microcal
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