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UTHSA Macromolecular Interactions

Overview of Services

The UTHSCSA Center for Macromolecular Interactions (CMMI) was formed to provide researchers with complementary instrumentation and expertise to study solution state biophysical properties of molecules. CMMI is a component of  the Cancer Therapy and Research Center's Macromolecular Structure and Interactions Shared Resource.


Services and Equipment:



Surface plasmon resonance (SPR) is used to study label-free molecular interactions in real time where one molecule is fixed and another is mobile. SPR provides information on the specificity of the reaction, kinetics, and binding affinity as well as sensitive, accurate concentration measurements.  It has application in LMW drug discovery and development, biotherapeutics, and basic bioscience research. We provide both  BIAcore T200 Surface Plasmon Resonance and BIAcore 3000 Surface Plasmon Resonance instruments and the expertise to design, perform and analyze experiments.


Analytical Ultracentrifugation (AUC) is a first principle separation method. It allows the investigator to perform all studies in a physiological solution state, where ionic strength, pH, solute concentration, buffer conditions, temperature, etc. can be modulated to investigate dynamic effects in the experimental system, and to replicate physiological conditions as closely as possible. AUC does not require any standards and provides composition information by resolving all dissolved solutes into size, shape or density distributions. Studies performed at CAUMA include, but are not limited to, research into protein/DNA/small molecule interactions, oligomerization of proteins, aggregation studies, composition analysis, particle sizing, anisotropy determination, particle density measurement, drug interactions, molecular weight determination, and macromolecular assembly. We have three Beckman-Coulter Analytical Ultracentrifuges and are capable of measuring sedimentation using UV/Vis, Rayleigh Interference Optics, or Fluorescence. Data analysis is performed using the UltraScan software package developed by Dr. Demeler with support from the XSEDE Science Gateway for access to high performance computing.

Using the MicroCal VP-ITC you can  make simultaneous determinations of all binding parameters in a single experiment - information unobtainable from more limited binding assays by characterization of molecular interactions of small molecules, proteins, antibodies, nucleic acids, lipids and other biomolecules, lead optimization, enzyme kinetics, assessment of the effect of molecular structure changes on binding mechanisms, and assessment of biological activity.

Microcal DSC is also available. DSC is a powerful technique to characterize temperature-induced conformational changes in proteins or other macromolecules. It is useful for measuring the melting temperature of a protein, which could be used to determine whether mutagenesis of a protein results in changes in its thermal stability (i.e. fold).

The Wyatt DynaPro NanoStar is available for Dynamic Light Scattering (DLS). It is capable of measuring samples ranging in size from 0.5 nm to 1000 nm at concentrations as low as 0.1 mg/ml. Sample volumes as small as 1 uLmay be tested. Operation is performed through the easy to use DYNAMICS® Software and data may be exported to MS Word or other programs. The NanoStar also has a dedicated Static Light Scattering (SLS) detector so not only can it measure hydrodynamic radii, but absolute molecular weights as well.

Assistance with grant applications and manuscript preparation is available.


Lafer, Eileen M. Co-Director
Office: MED 415B
Phone: (210) 567-3764


Ramiro Ramirez-Solis Director, Institutional Cores
Office: STRF 300.25
Phone: (210) 567-2059

Location and hours of operation

Hours Location

Monday - Friday 8:00am-5:00pm 

7703 Floyd Curl Dr
San Antonio, TX 78229-3900

Links and Resources

  1. Center for Macromolecular Interactions (CMMI) Webpage 


Name Role Phone Email Location
Eileen M. Lafer, Ph.D.
Co-Scientific Director
(210) 567-3764
MED 415B
Liping Wang
Technical Director
(210) 387-6866
MED 438B

Service list

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SPR (5)



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