Beckman Optima Multiwavelength Analytical Ultracentrifuge

Analytical ultracentrifugation (AUC) is the most versatile, rigorous and accurate means for determining the hydrodynamic shape, size, molar mass and binding thermodynamics of any macromolecule and its complexes.

Beckman Optima Multiwavelength Analytical Ultracentrifuge


Parameters measured from a single SV-AUC sample

  • Sedimentation coefficient (for each macromolecule present)
  • Diffusion coefficient (averaged for the entire solution; can be derived with 2D analysis)
  • Frictional coefficient (averaged for the entire solution; can be derived with 2D analysis)
  • Molar Mass estimates for each species

Parameters that can be obtained through multiple SV-AUC cells (spun simultaneously)

  • Oligomerization propensity of each macromolecule, through a concentration series
  • Demonstration of an interaction between macromolecules, through a concentration series of the two species. This can also be used to determine binding kinetics including Kd values and thermodynamics of the interaction


Fastest Data Acquisition Rate

ABS: <7sec/sector

INT: <5sec/scan

Max # of Wavelengths


Wavelength Precision

± 0.5nm

Lowest Radial Resolution


Absorbance Flash Lamp Frequency

300 Hz

CCD Camera Specifications

2048 x 1088 pixels

Interference Fringes

10 fringes/cell

Usable Concentration Ranges

ABS: .005-2mg/mL

INT: .025-5mg/mL BSA

Operating System

LINUX remote GUI

Sample Temperature range



Multi-wavelength analytical ultracentrifugation (MW-AUC) is a recent development made possible by new optical systems. MW-AUC extends the basic hydrodynamic information content of AUC and provides access to a wide range of new applications for biopolymer characterization, and is poised to become an essential analytical tool to study macromolecular interactions.


Research reported here is supported by the NIH grant S10 OD032215-01 for the Optima AUC, to Dr. Neela Yennawar, X-ray Crystallography core facility, Penn State Huck Institutes of the Life Science