Surface Plasmon Resonance Facility (Biacore)

The Aptamer technology platform at CSIR Biosciences headed by Dr Khati runs a Biacore-based surface plasmon resonance (SPR) facility. This biosensor technology allows the real-time detection and monitoring of biomolecular binding events. In a Biacore experiment, one of the interacting molecules (the ligand) is bound to the biosensor surface, whereas the other (the analyte) is delivered to the surface in a continuous flow through a microfluidic system. Binding of the analyte to the ligand is monitored on real-time by surface plasmon resonance, which detects the mass concentrations at the surface. The response is directly proportional to the mass of analyte that bind to the surface. A range of different sensor chips is available for different application purposes.

The technology requires no labelling and provides quantitative information on kinetic parameters (association and dissocation rate constants, ka and kd), affinity constants (KD) and stoichiometry. Applications include epitope mapping, molecular assembly and small molecule screening. Moreover, experiments can be performed using crude media (cell lysates, tissue extracts, sera and biological fluids) allowing, in combination with mass spectrometry, the identification of binding partners of a given molecular target immobilized on the biosensor.

The facility operates a Biacore 3000 instrument. This instrument is fully automated and supports 4 channels that can be used individually, in series or as pairs (on-line reference subtraction). The facility is opened to scientists from ACGT affiliated institutions (and beyond) and provides training and support for the use of this biosensor technology.

Contact information

Dr Makobetsa Khati

Tel: +27 12 841 4770, Fax: +27 12 841 3651

Dr Lionel Gresh

Tel: +27 12 841 3583, Fax: +27 12 841 4790