Biomedicum Virus Core Unit

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BVC is a service platform that provides biosafety level II laboratory space for recombinant virus production as well as consultation, technical help and gene transfer products for the researchers on the Meilahti and Viikki Campuses. BVC is equipped with basic cell culture equipment such as laminars, incubators, centrifuges and microscopes. All registered users are also allowed to use the EVOS® FL Imaging System.

In order to work in BVC facility, you need to have a permission that is obtained through registration. If you want to start working in the facility, you need to take the BVC biosafety training (100€/person for UH customers) and be registered as a BVC user (user fee 22 €/h for UH customers including most common cell culture plastics, materials, reagents, waste management, equipment maintenance and partial support). If you are part of STEMM program, you can choose whether you want to be registered a BVC user or a STEMM user (no hourly fee, but you have to bring your own materials and reagents etc.) New STEMM users also need to take the BVC biosafety training. EVOS microscope users need to be registered and trained as well.

If you are not registered as a user and would like to get the Biosafety training or quick training to be able to use the EVOS microscope, please contact bvc-support@helsinki.fi, tel. 02941 25494.

Here you can find our updated Biosafety manual (2019)

In case of an emergency, please read BVC's rescue plan (in Finnish only) 

After registration working hours can be reserved through BVC online calendar

Contact person: Elina Hurskainen, elina.hurskainen@helsinki.fi
BVC Management, +3582941 25494, bvc-support@helsinki.fi

Location: Biomedicum 1 Helsinki, 5th floor, Room C505b, Haartmaninkatu 8, Meilahti Campus

Services

  • Registration & Biosafety Training
  • General facility supervision and customer support
  • Hood and facility use
  • Biosafety test (RCV test)
  • Virus titering test for lentiviral particles (p24 test)
  • General cell lines related to virus work

Instruments

  • Thermo Forma Series II Water Jacketed CO2 Incubator (2 x)
  • Heraeus Multifuge 3S-R (w/ tube and plate rotor)
  • Olympus CK40 bright field microscope
  • A&D EK-400H scale
  • Labnet International Spectrafuge 24 D
  • Wealtec E-centrifuge
  • Hettich Universal 32 centrifuge
  • Memmert waterbath
  • Sartorius Biohit MidiPlus pipettors
  • Stuart vortex
  • EVOS® FL Imaging System

Applications

  • Recombinant virus production
  • Transduction of target cells
  • Fluorescent wide-field imaging for BSL2 substances

RCV & p24 tests

RCV Test? Recombinant retro- and lentiviruses are designed to perform only one round of infection. After the transduction, a segment of the transfer vector that encodes shRNA/miRNA or cDNA integrates into the host cell's genome and is expressed under the control of the viral promoter. The recombinant viruses do not carry genetic information for production of virus particles and, therefore, cannot replicate or produce new virus particles in the target cells. However, there is a very small likelihood that unusual recombination events lead to formation of replication competent viruses during the virus production. We exclude the presence of replication competent virus (RCV test) in lentivirus preparations upon request.

RCV test can also be performed to transduced cells to ensure that the cells are virus-free before transferring cells outside from the Biosafety Level 2 laboratory.

Capsid Titer Test (p24)? A 24 kilodalton protein (p24) is a major structural core component in the recombinant lentiviruses. We use a p24 specific enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) to measure the p24 lentivirus capsid protein concentration (pg/ml) from the cell culture supernatants containing lentivirus preparations. 

How does it work? BVC provides RCV and p24 titer tests as a service. These tests are performed every other Wednesday. The test schedule can be found from the BVC Online Hood reservation calendar. For RCV test we need 1 ml unfiltered cell culture media (at least 24 hours after splitting cells or media change) and for p24 titer analysis we need 10 μl of viral supernatant. Label samples with your initials and running numbers (KK1, KK2..). If you are a registered BVC facility user, you can bring your samples into the -20°C sample box at the BVC facility. If you are not, please contact us to arrange the sample delivery. Also remember to send an e-mail notification to bvc-support@helsinki.fi containing your sample information and billing information in order to have your samples analysed!

User fees

The research infrastructure is supported by University of Helsinki (HiLIFE and Research Programs Unit) and Biocenter Finland. The prices for University of Helsinki customers (VAT 0 %) are listed below. Other customers, please contact bvc-support@helsinki.fi.

Service Price (eur)

Registration & Biosafety training (€/person)

100

BVC hood hour

22
RCV test 45
p24 test 55
Cell ampoul
(Phoenix Ampho, Phoenix Eco, HeLa, HEK293fT)
10
BVC services