A High-Throughput Biological Calorimetry Core: Steps to Startup, Run, and Maintain a Multiuser Facility

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

5 Scopus citations


Many labs have conventional calorimeters where denaturation and binding experiments are setup and run one at a time. While these systems are highly informative to biopolymer folding and ligand interaction, they require considerable manual intervention for cleaning and setup. As such, the throughput for such setups is limited typically to a few runs a day. With a large number of experimental parameters to explore including different buffers, macromolecule concentrations, temperatures, ligands, mutants, controls, replicates, and instrument tests, the need for high-throughput automated calorimeters is on the rise. Lower sample volume requirements and reduced user intervention time compared to the manual instruments have improved turnover of calorimetry experiments in a high-throughput format where 25 or more runs can be conducted per day. The cost and efforts to maintain high-throughput equipment typically demands that these instruments be housed in a multiuser core facility. We describe here the steps taken to successfully start and run an automated biological calorimetry facility at Pennsylvania State University. Scientists from various departments at Penn State including Chemistry, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Bioengineering, Biology, Food Science, and Chemical Engineering are benefiting from this core facility. Samples studied include proteins, nucleic acids, sugars, lipids, synthetic polymers, small molecules, natural products, and virus capsids. This facility has led to higher throughput of data, which has been leveraged into grant support, attracting new faculty hire and has led to some exciting publications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMethods in Enzymology
PublisherAcademic Press Inc.
Number of pages26
StatePublished - 2016

Publication series

NameMethods in Enzymology
ISSN (Print)0076-6879
ISSN (Electronic)1557-7988

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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