The University of Massachusetts Amherst
Biophysical Characterization

Biophysical Characterization

COVID-19 Status

Please check the UMass Core Facilities COVID-19 Related Operational Status page for details.


Located on the 5th floor in the Life Science Laboratories the Biophysical Characterization facility houses 15 state-of-the-art instruments for the study of structures and interactions of biological macromolecules such as proteins, nucleic acids, lipids, and complexes. This facility supports both discovery-based research and assay development for translational applications.

The facility provides expertise and access to the latest, well-maintained instrumentation that is crucial to the research community of the University of Massachusetts system, the Five College system, other academic institutions, and industrial partners. We are able to offer our capabilities to researchers and invite them to use this equipment either on their own or with the help of faculty who have expertise in each method. The lab is also able to accept samples and perform the appropriate analysis for a quoted fee. The instrumentation described below was chosen to enable the quantitative characterization of biological macromolecules and their interactions.

MicroCal-iTC200 $180/day $235/day $310/day
Li-Cor Odyssey Imaging Microscale Thermophoresis $10/hour $15/hour $20/hour
NanoTemper Microscale $25/hour $35/hour $43/hour
Biotek Synergy 2 Plate Reader with Fluoroscene $6/hour $8/hour $15/hour
GE Typhoon Phosphorimager System $17/hour $22/hour $30/hour
Jasco J-1500 CD $21/hour $27/hour $36/hour
Training $75/hour $98/hour $130/hour
Dynamic Light Scattering
Malvern Nano Zetasizer ZSP
$15/hour $20/hour $25/hour
Wyatt Technologies SEC-MALS $15/hour $20/hour $25/hour
Beckman XL-I Analytical Ultracentrifuge with Aviv Fluorescence Detection $180/day $235/day $310/day
Formulatrix Fomulator $11/hour $15/hour $20/hour
Formulatrix NT8 dropsetter $12/hour $20/hour $20/hour
Formulatrix Rock Imager $10/hour $15/hour $20/hour
Rigaki-XRD $25/hour $35/hour $45/hour
Rigaki-Biosaxs $25/hour $35/hour $45/hour
       
Rates are subject to change, contact facility to verify current fees.

FY21 Specialized Service Center Approved Fees

Services

Training for new users consists of:

  • lab safety training,
  • operation of the instrument and associated software,
  • use of data analysis software,
  • exporting or presenting data,
  • clean up and shutdown of the instrumentation.

Once the training is complete, researchers may schedule their experiments through the director of Biophysical Characterization (Lizz Bartlett) or online through CORUM at corum.umass.edu.

Biophysical Characterization Core Facility: MicroCal iTC-200 with auto-sampler, BiaCore surface plasmon resonance system, two Nanotemper thermophoresis instruments (one for proteins with extrinsic labels, the other for Trp excitation), a Biotek microplate reader equipped to detect absorbance, fluorescence, luminescence, and anistropy, an Odyssey Li-COR CLx imaging system, GE Typhoon phosphorimager, Beckman analytical ultracentrifuge with Aviv fluorescence detector, Malvern DLS/Zetasizer Nano ZSP system with MPT-2 (Titrator)/Degasser, Wyatt multi-angle light scattering instrument with Agilent chromatography system, and a JASCO M-1500 circular dichroism instrument. In addition, our protein crystallography facility is equipped with a robotics crystallization set-up to prepare crystallization screens, along with the imaging stations necessary to monitor crystal growth. Finally, we have a Rigaku x-ray source that will enable acquisition of small-angle x-ray scattering data as well as serving for single crystal diffraction, which we have already used for this project (preliminary data).

FY21 Specialized Service Center Approved Fees

Updated January 2021

Once the training is complete, researchers may schedule their experiments through the director,  Lizz Bartlett dbartlett@umass.edu or online through CORUM at corum.umass.edu.

General
The Facility is staffed from 8:00AM until ~5PM on weekdays. Once trained, all registered users may request after-hours access. No one may gain access to the Facility using an ID not their own or use instruments for which they are not trained.

Training
All users must receive proper training before being permitted access to the Facility. Training is provided by the core director.

Scheduling
The use of instruments or training, by the UMass-Amherst community, requires an advance reservation using CORUM. If you do not have an account, please log in here: https://www.umass.edu/ials/core-facility-user-authorization-form to create one. You will be expected to make reservations and logon to instruments using your CORUM account.

Once you have reserved instrument time, please make every effort to be there and use it. If the Facility is not notified or the reservation canceled, you may be billed for any time you reserve. If you have made a reservation and wish to cancel it, please do so using CORUM as soon as you can. This is only fair to all who use the Facility. We may bill no-shows and late cancellations, at our discretion.

Usage and Rates
Instruments are used (and billed) on an hourly or daily basis. For instrument usage totaling less than an hour during a day, we charge for a full hour. For usage totaling more than an hour, we charge for the actual time used. The daily rate assumes an 8-hour period. The usage patterns of the SEC-MALS, Biacore T200, ProteomeLab XL-I, and MicroCal AutoiTC200 preclude hourly rates for these instruments; the unit rates for these instruments are half day (4 hours) or full day (8 hours) of use.

Housekeeping
Users are expected to keep the equipment and equipment areas safe, tidy, and very clean. Repeated failure to maintain this policy may result in loss of use privileges.

Until an offsite server is established, users are encouraged to remove their data from the hard disk of the computer immediately after each session. Long term storage of data on the equipment computer is not recommended as the data can be inadvertently removed or overwritten without any warning.