An introduction to the Optima Analytical Ultracentrifuge


img5AUC is a versatile method to characterize the hydrodynamic behavior of biological (and other) samples in solution. It is based on the principles of sedimentation – the passage of samples down a tube in a centrifugal field. The Optima AUC instrument can detect samples based on UV-vis absorbance as well as refractive index. 

Why use AUC?

AUC addresses the following problems


In Pharma Discovery & Academic Research:

  • Complex assembly stoichiometry
  • Binding affinity & equilibrium constants
  • Shape changes & allosteric events

In Pharma Quality Control:

  • Gene therapy drug purity (viral packing efficiency)
  • Biologics sample purity (aggregation/degradation)

Unique advantages of AUC analysis


  • Fully native state analysis: No substrate / matrix interactions
  • No calibration standards required: Results obtained from first principles
  • Extremely large dynamic range: Characterize anything from a peptide to an intact virus

Typical application areas for AUC


In Discovery:

  • Protein/nucleic-acid/small-molecule interactions
  • Nanoparticles, vesicles, polymers, viruses & more.

In Pharma Quality Control:

  • Gene therapy products (AAV viral capsids)
  • Biologics, biosimilars, antibodies & therapeutic peptides.


AUC characterizes biological samples in-solution, answers both QC and discovery questions without needing external calibration standards and eliminates problematic non-native interactions.

Click here to learn more about getting started with AUC.


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