Biocomplex actively develops new purification methods for large macromolecular complexes, often in co-operation with manufacturers. Our technologies can be used in different combinations to purify large macromolecular complexes such as viruses, virus-like particles, viral subassemblies, exosomes, membrane vesicles, large protein complexes, ribonucleoprotein complexes etc.
We are part of the Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences and HiLIFE, University of Helsinki, Biocenter Finland, FINStruct and Instruct-ERIC Centre Finland. Biocomplex is supported by the University of Helsinki (HiLIFE and Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences) and Academy of Finland.
Instruct-ERIC Centre Finland / Biocomplex
Biocomplex services are part of Instruct-ERIC Centre Finland and can be accessed through Instruct-ERIC (Instruct Centre Finland/Biocomplex home page). See funding possibilities for Instruct-ERIC access.
Biocomplex provides purification technologies and expertise specializing in preparative ultracentrifugation, monolithic chromatography and asymmetrical flow field-flow fractionation (AF4). Provided techniques can be used in different combinations to yield high quality samples in quantity. Biosafety level 1 and 2 organisms can be processed.
The preparative ultracentrifugation service provides facilities for rate-zonal, equilibrium, flotation and differential centrifugation. It is equipped with a farm of ultracentrifuges as well as swing out and fixed angle rotors with different capacities. We also have instrumentation for gradient making and provide fractionation services. Superspeed centrifuges are available also for the users.
Ultracentrifugation service offers:
AF4 provides size-based separation of sample components. It is applicable for separation of macromolecules, colloids as well as nano- and microparticles. Separation is done in liquid phase without stationary phase.
Our AF4 services are being renewed. Biocomplex has acquired a new AF4 device (Eclipse NEON) equipped with wonderful inline detectors. This is the very first new-generation Wyatt FFF-MALS that has been installed in Europe! The premium setup has multiangle (DAWN) and dynamic light scattering (QELS) detectors as well as UV, refractive index (Optilab dRI) and fluorescence detectors. This setup can be used for characterization and purification of samples: the device has automatic and manual sample feeding and a fraction collector. The accompanied software enables simulation of experiments and analysis of the molar mass, size, conformation, conjugation and other physical parameters from experimental data. Later this year, the service will be supplemented with Mobility EAF4 (Electrical/asymmetrical flow-field flow fractionation) that couples size-based separation to charge-based separation and can be used to determine zeta potential distributions.
The benefits of AF4 are the following:
Accompanied software: ASTRA enables easy analysis of molar mass and radius; Vision Design enables simulation of experiments based on AF4 theory.
CIM® monolithic columns can be utilized for purification of viruses, virus-like particles, extracellular vesicles, nucleic acids, proteins and their complexes. We routinely have weak (DEAE) and strong (QA) anion exchange columns. Please ask for other column types. The benefits of CIM columns are the following:
Please find the downloadable poster of Bíocomplex services below.
Fees are collected to cover the service and maintenance costs of the Biocomplex instruments. The prices are without VAT.
|Fees for users from the University of Helsinki (Feb 2023)|
|Service/Consumable||Description||Price and unit|
|Training (8 am - 15 pm)||
Technical personnel advice in the use of gradient master and operation of centrifuges and rotors. User learns the safety regulations on using the centrifuges as well as the regular cleaning procedures. Price includes the technical support during the first time of centrifuge use. The centrifuge use and consumables are charged based on the principles provided below. No training fee is charged from the UH users.
Training for Biocomp piston fractionator use must be combined to a centrifugation experiment. For training, only one rotor can be fractionated.
|Support during centrifugation/Centrifuge operator (8 am - 15 pm)||
Technical personnel assists the use of centrifuge(s).
|Regular use of ultracentrifuges||
Fixed price for unlimited access for one user to use the ultracentrifuges, rotors and gradient master. Valid for one year.
Price includes the use of Biocomp piston fractionator with UV and fluorescence data collection option. Does not include consumables.
Billing is based on the number of centrifugations. Each individual centrifuge use will be billed.
|Centrifugation service and manual fractionation||
Technical staff performs the centrifugation experiment.
Price depends on the used work time, consumables and ultracentrifuge use.
Tubes for swing-out rotors
|TH641, AH629, AH650||4 €/tube|
|Tubes and caps for fixed angle rotors||T-1270||15 €/tube, 30 €/cap|
|Tubes and caps for fixed angle rotors||T865||15 €/tube, 55 €/cap|
|Tubes and caps for fixed angle rotors||T647.5||25 €/tube, 150 €/cap|
|Tubes and caps for fixed angle rotors||F50L||2 €/tube|
The requested membrane is installed and flushed. Solvents are filtered and exchanged. System performance is validated with standards such as BSA or polystyrene beads (when applicable).
|Independent use of AF4||
User operates AF4 instrument independently.
|60 € /day|
|Technical support or AF4 operator||Technical staff gives practical training and support on AF4 instrument use to promote independent use of AF4 by the user.|
Academic support for method development and optimization as well as data analysis using Vision and Astra software.
Biocomplex personnel performs AF4 experiments. The price is determined by:
The user is expected to provide the solvent (2 l). The solvent needs to be changed every two days.
Membranes for analytical or semipreparative channel
Regenerated cellulose (RC) and polyethersulfone (PES) membranes with different MWCOs available
|Spacers for analytical or semipreparative channel||
Different spacer thicknesses available for analytical long channel and semipreparative channel
|Filter||PAL filter for filtering of the solvents, 0.1 um pore size.||35 € /filter|
|Sample vials and caps||
Glass vials (amber), 1 ml max volume
Plastic vials, 0.3 ml max volume
|1 € /vial|
|Fraction collection tubes||1.5 ml tubes||1 €/5 tubes|
Independent use of ÄktaPure chromatography instrument
|User operates chromatography equipment independently and rinses the instrument after the use and sets it to the storage solution. The price includes the possibility to use CIM monolithic anion exchange columns with QA or DEAE chemistry.||40 €/day|
|Regular use of ÄktaPure||Fixed price for unlimited use of Äkta Pure for one calendar year.||400 €/year|
|User support||Technical staff support|
|Chromatography service/||Project specific|
Asymmetrical flow field-flow fractionation
Publications with acknowledgements to the Biocomplex Unit (2017 onwards)
Here are some reading tips for techniques utilized for biological macromolecular complexes
Mohr, H. and Völkl, A. (2017). Ultracentrifugation. In eLS, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd (Ed.). doi:10.1002/9780470015902.a0002969.pub3
Lewis, A. C. (2015). Chromatographic Techniques. In eLS, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd (Ed.). doi:10.1002/9780470015902.a0002705.pub2
Sheehan, D. and O'Sullivan, S. (2001). Ion Exchange Chromatography. In eLS, (Ed.). doi:10.1038/npg.els.0002677
Mansoor, M. A. (2015). Liquid Chromatography. In eLS, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd (Ed.). doi/10.1002/9780470015902.a0002679.pub3