All instrumental and intellectual resources of the centre are focused at the implementation of a complex approach in the study of various living objects and biosystems on the cellular, subcellular and molecular levels. This approach makes it possible to solve relevant issues of biology and medicine using centre’s equipment and technologies, develop new biomedical techniques, including ones connected with the diagnostics and treatment of socially important human and animal diseases.
Main directions of research using cutting-edge technologies:
- • human and animal ontogenesis study;
- • ageing and revitalization problems, regenerative medicine research;
- • participation in search for immunomodulating, immunostimulating, antimicrobial and other drugs;
- • study of fundamental mechanisms and patterns of immune response;
- • study of the biology of malignant neoplasms in animal and plant biosystems;
- • study of prionised state of proteins and its neurodegenerative effect;
- • genetic certification and diagnostics of human and animal genetic anomalies;
- • study of horizontal gene transfer between kingdoms of living organisms;
- • etc.
The instrumentation base comprises over 150 units of up-to-date units of equipment, including several unique systems for carrying out research projects in various areas of cellular and molecular biology.
For cellular research, the following state-of-the-art techniques are used:
Transmission electron microscopy (Jeol JEM-1400 and Jeol JEM-2100 microscopes, including a full sample processing complex for cryoelectron microscopy being unique for Russia);
Scanning electron microscopy (Tescan MIRA3 FE-SEM and Leica EM BAF060, being the only device in Russia for freeze fracturing);
Confocal optical microscopy, superresolution optical microscopy making it possible to reach nearly electron microscope resolution (80 nm) in the study of living objects;
Flow cytometry for cell culture and single cell studies, including multicolour analysis and cell sorting.
The centre carries out research in molecular biology areas – genomics, proteomics and metabolomics:
Genomics – the analysis of structure and function of nucleotide sequences in living organisms’ genomes – uses mainly the following methods:
Sequencing, including classical Sanger technique; next generation sequencing (NGS) executing on two platforms: Roche 454 GS Junior and ABI Ion Torrent;
Quantitative latest-generation PCR, including the high-performance PCR and droplet digital PCR;
Genome diversity research using molecular fingerprinting method. This complex yet well-reproducible method makes it possible to work with a small quantity of DNA (from a single cell). Specialised detection systems such as GE Typhoon FLA 9500, substantially increasing the methods’ efficiency, are used for visualization.
For proteomic research, the following methods are used:
MALDI mass-spectrometry allows to study large proteins, identify them and evaluate post-translational modifications in their structure. An outstanding feature of this device is its MALDI-visualization technique. It enables the reconstruction of protein spatial localization in tissues and the determination of protein and lipid composition in experimental versus control groups.
HPLC-MS with Agilent 6538 ESI-qTOF provides high-resolution quantitative evaluation of proteins and MS of components which are not compatible with MALDI-MS.
HPLC and FPLC equipment provides protein and peptide separation in complex mixtures in accordance with a set of parameters depending on chromatography method applied. The method of choice for analysis of complex peptide mixes such as
1D-LC-MALDI and 2D-LC-MALDI is available.
The research of biomolecular interactions, including protein complexes, is carried out with the BioRad Proteon XPR36 optical biosensor. It evaluates parameters, such as reaction kinetics, affinity, in a real time mode with different temperature, pH, etc.
For metabolomic research (metabolite collection analysis – a most promising area of development of postgenome molecular methods in system biology), the following methods are applied:
Gas chromato-mass spectrometry with Pegasus 4D GCxGC–TOF MS, being the only mass-spectrometric detector compatible with the system of true 2D gas chromatography. The specific features of the device, particularly the presence of cryo-modulation device, provides up to 10-fold increase in detection sensitivity.
HPLC-MS for analysis of metabolites, which are difficult to be studied in GC, i.e. glucosinolates and phenolides.
Phone: +7 (812) 328-96-96, +7 (981) 834-31-16.