Biophysics Congress 2015

The new building of BIOFISIKA is located in the Scientific Park of the UPV/EHU, in Leioa. These new facilities will increase the available space for the groups up to of 9,500 sq.m., and will provide state-of-the art facilities that will ease the development of their research programs. In addition, the available space will allow the future expansion of BIOFISIKA as there are two empty floors for future growing that will ensure the additional incorporation of talent to the Centre. The location of BIOFISIKA in the Scientific Park is an added value, especially for the technology transfer program, as the proximity to potential industrial partners will provide natural communication channels for the exploitation of technologies developed in BIOFISIKA, including the creation of spin-off companies.

 

New Building

 

The infrastructures of BIOFISIKA are grouped in Instrumentation Units to offer a more efficient service to the internal (BIOFISIKA) and external users and to assure the correct use and functioning of the equipments. Instrumentation Units that are singular and reach a critical mass on equipment are of high interest for the scientific community will be transformed into Technological Platforms. This will be the case of the Light Microscopy Platform (LMP) containing all the microscopy capabilities of BIOFISIKA.

The current Instrumentation Units at BIOFISIKA are:

Molecular and Cellular Imaging Unit

BIOFISIKA has established a potent microscopy-based imaging instrumentation unit. From this Unit we expect to launch a new Technological Platform that will offer its services to the industry and the academia under a pay-per use model or under a joint-venture collaborative model.

The Molecular and Cellular Imaging Unit is equipped with:

–          Atomic Force Microscopy

–          Multispectral Confocal Microscopy

–          Epifluorescence-TIRF

–          Single frequency domain FLIM Microscopy

–          Multiple frequency domain FLIM Microscopy and TIRF

–          Two-photon time domain TCSPC FLIM Microscopy solid state lasers

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Protein Expression and Structure Unit

This is a core unit for BIOFISIKA, as it is transversal to the majority of the research lines, serving them at many parts of the research projects and fostering collaborations between research groups. The Protein Expression and Structure Unit is also arranged into several facilities, devoted mainly to the expression and purification of the proteins of interest or to the biophysical characterization of those proteins. The Protein Expression and Structure Unit is composed of six facilities:

–          Centrifugation and Sample concentration

o    Ultracentrifuges

o    Refrigerated Centrifuges

o    SpeedVac SPD 1010 System

o    Freeze-dryers

–          Microcalorimetric Analysis

o    Isothermal Microcalorimetry

o    High-sensitivity Differential Scan Calorimetry

–          Chromatography

o    FPLC High Resolution Liquid Chromatography

o    HPLC-Elecrospray ionisation tandem mass spectrometry

–          Image Acquisition, Treatment and Documentation

o    Molecular Imaging Systems

–          Spectroscopy

o    Stopped-Flow Spectrophotometry

o    Luminometry

o    Spectrofluorimetry (steady-state, life-time and single-photon detection)

o    Infrared Spectrophotometry

o    Dynamic Light Scattering (DLS) Nano Particle Size Analysis

o    Circular Dichroism Spectropolarimetry

o    UV-VIS Spectrophotometry

–          Crystallography

o    X-Ray Diffractometry for protein crystals

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Lipid Mass Spectrometry Unit

A lipid mass spectrometry unit is available for the smooth and constructive running of projects that will require analysis of various classes of lipids (sphingolipids, neutral Lipids, phosphoinositides and cholesterol).          

– API3000 electrospray ionising tandem mass spectrometry

 

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Chimeric Vaccines Production Unit

This unit is aimed to produce and test prototype recombinant vaccines based on virus capsids without genome (VLPs in literature, Virus-like particles). For this purpose, the Platform will use the expression system using the baculovirus/insect cells. The main objective is to establish the proof of concept technology vaccine production from a new VLP. The initial project of the Chimeric Vaccines Production unit to produce and test in animal models the immunogenicity of at least three prototype recombinant vaccines against three parasitic diseases: triapanosomiasis American (Chagas disease), African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness), and porcine cysticercosis. Due to its highly applied orientation, this platform is supposed to attract many companies from the Biotech and Pharmacological sector as well as Public Research Institutions.

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Systems Biophysics Unit

Systems Biophysics is now a trending topic in research, and it is going to gain relevance in the near future. In addition, Systems Biophysics is also a transversal research area at BIOFISIKA. An emerging Instrumentation Unit inside this topic is the Bioinformatics Unit, which is planned to be strengthened in the short future.

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