Penn Dental Medicine


Core Facilities » Biacore Facility Core

Biacore units use Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR), enabling investigators to detect and monitor biomolecular binding events in real-time. This allows the user to gain a better understanding of biochemical mechanisms associated with protein-ligand interactions. The Penn Dental Medicine Biacore Facility Core features two Biacore units – the Biacore X and the Biacore 3000. The Biacore X is a manually operated unit with two flow cells, and the Biacore 3000 is a fully automated unit with four flow cells and multiple capabilities.

SPR is a valuable research tool to assay components by defining their interactions, providing quantitative information on:

  • Specificity – how specific is the binding between two molecules?
  • Concentration – how much of given molecule is present and active?
  • Kinetics – what is the rate of association/dissociation?
  • Affinity – how strong is the binding?

A special unit installed into the Biacore 3000 is an SPR-MALDI interface block. The block is designed to recover molecules that bind to a protein fixed to the sensor surface in the small volumes that are suitable for mass spectrometry. Bound component(s) are eluted into the micro-recovery module and analyzed by mass spectrometry, which identifies the bound component(s). This has been used to:

  • Characterize native or recombinant protein-protein and protein-ligand interactions.
  • Characterize antibodies by determining competition groups, affinity of binding, and ability to bind to various forms of a protein.
  • Characterize potential drug targets or diagnostic markers.

Contact Information

Dr. Gary Cohen, Director
216 Levy Building

The Robert Schattner Center
University of Pennsylvania
School of Dental Medicine
240 South 40th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6030