The Centre of Molecular Structure (IBT, CAS) at Biocev

Frédéric Vellieux, Tatsiana Charvanets, Jiří Pavlíček, Petr Pompach, Jan Dohnálek

Institute of Biotechnology CAS, v.v.i., Biocev, Průmyslova 595, Vestec, 252 42 Jesenice u Prahy, Czech Republic


Starting end of 2015 - beginning of 2016, the “Centre of Molecular Structure” (CMS) has become fully operational. This is a technical platform of the Institute of Biotechnology (Czech Academy of Sciences) located at Biocev in Vestec. CMS is a part of the Czech infrastructure for integrative structural biology (CIISB).

The CMS welcomes guests to use its facilities, in order to help them solve their problems using the available technologies. These are divided into three large sectors: 1) biophysical measurements; 2) advanced structural mass spectrometry 3) macromolecular crystallization and X-ray diffraction, with the associated state-of-the-art scientific instrumentation.

The available technologies will be presented by means of the story of a beginning scientist, just embarking on a scientific career in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (story telling): how the CMS facilities are used in order to help solve the problems encountered during a research project.


The equipment available at the CMS is listed in the following table:


Instrument name                    Technology                             Used for


Biophysical measurements


Specord 50 Plus                                     UV/Vis spectrometer                              High precision UV/Vis spectroscopy

Chirascan Plus                                      Circular dichroism                                   Conformation of macromolecules

ProteOn XPR36                                    Surface Plasmon Resonance                   Analysis of interactions

Monolith NT.115                                   Thermophoresis                                      Study of interactions

Monolith NT.LabelFree                        Thermophoresis                                      Study of protein interactions

Prometheus NT.48                                Differential Scanning Fluorimetry           Protein stability

Microcal iTC200                                    Calorimetry                                             Characterisation of interactions

Microcal DSC                                        Calorimetry                                             Thermal transitions analysis

Zetasizer Nano ZS90                            Dynamic light scattering                          Analysis of particle size / hydrodynamic radii


Mass spectrometry


Bruker Solarix 15T                               MALDI or electrospray ionization          Analysis of biomacromolecules and complexes

                                                                                                                                by advanced mass spec

Protein Crystallography


Spectrolight 600                                    In-drop dynamic light scattering              Determine mono-dispersity in drops

Art Robbins Gryphon                          Automated multichannel pipetting           Crystallisation by robotics

Formulatrix RI1000                              Crystallisation plate hotel                        Design of crystallisation plans; storage and visualization of crystallisation plates

D8 Venture liq Ga source                     X-ray generation and detection                Testing of crystal diffraction (including in-situ);

with Photon II detector                                                                                        diffraction data collection


This work is supported by the project "BIOCEV – Biotechnology and Biomedicine Centre of the Academy of Sciences and Charles University (CZ.1.05/1.1.00/02.0109)” from the ERDF, and by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports under National support of research infrastructures (infrastructure CIISB, project no. LM2015043).