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Pharmaceutical Optical & Chiroptical Spectroscopy Facility

Purpose of the Centre

To provide Academic and non-Academic Community with a research service for the measurement and interpretation of chiroptical (optical activity) data to enable the assignment of absolute stereochemistry, the analysis of biopolymer conformation and the study of molecular interactions.


Biomolecular Spectroscopy Centre
King's College London
The Wolfson Wing,
Hodgkin Building,
Guy's Campus
London SE1 1UL

Tel: 020 7848 8450 (office), 8451 (Lab)
Fax : 020 7848 6145


Applied Photophysics Ltd Chirascan Spectrometer

Applied Photophysics Ltd Chirascan Spectrometer (167 – 1200 nm).
Applied Photophysics Ltd SX Stopped-Flow system.

AVIV 17DS UV-Visible-near IR spectrometer.
Perkin Elmer 343 polarimeter, Sodium D line.

A range of attachments is available including peltier systems for variable temperature studies, multi-cell titration equipment, magnets for MCD and cryostats for low temperature studies.

All CD measurements are accompanied by simultaneous absorbance measurements to ensure the quality and reliability.

Software for data treatment and analysis:

  • Data enhancement and presentation.
  • Principle Component Regression Analysis for Protein secondary structure analysis.
  • Calculation of physicochemical parameters, temperature characteristics, kinetics, binding constants, pKa……etc.

What can the facility do for you?

Spectroscopy with Ordinary, Linear & Circularly Polarised Light of Chiral Molecules Biological Materials:

  • Determination of peptide/protein secondary structures.
  • Molecular chemistry of proteins, oligo/cyclic-peptides, DNA and related structures.
  • Absolute stereochemistry.
  • Solution state molecular binding of ligands & interaction studies.
  • Physiochemical parameters from temperature/pH measurements.
  • Kinetics
  • Protein/peptide formulation.
  • Measurements with other light polarisations e.g. Optical Rotatory Dispersion (ORD), Linear Dichroism.
  • Ordinary and Polarised Fluorescence capability is currently being developed with the Chirascan.


Charges are negotiable based upon King’s College London recommended rates normally based upon half days. Please contact the centre for further details.

Useful references

  • The multi-mode polarization modulation spectrometer: part 1: simultaneous detection of absorption, turbidity, and optical activity. Tudor Arvinte, Tam T.T. Bui, Ali A. Dahab, Barthélemy Demeule, Alex F. Drake, Dhia Elhag and Peter King. Analytical Biochemistry, 2004, 332(1), 46-57.
  • Chiroptical Spectroscopy. A.F. Drake. Physical methods of chemistry, Vol 3B: Determination of chemical composition and molecular structure 2E, 1989, Ed. B.W. Rossiter and J.F. Hamilton. Published by J. Wiley & Son.
  • Polarisation modulation - the measurement of linear and circular dichroism. A.F. Drake : J. Phys. E: Sci. Instrum 1986, 19, 170-181.
  • Circular Dichroism and Optical Rotatory Dispersion of Proteins and Polypeptides, A.J. Alder, N.J. Greenfield and G.D. Fasman, Methods Enzymology 1973, 27, 675.
  • Circular Dichroism and the Conformational Analysis of Biomolecules, Edited by G. Fasman, 1996, Plenum Press.
  • Protein Secondary Structure and Circular Dichroism: A Practical Guide, W.C. Johnson, Proteins 1990, 7, 205.
  • Microscopy, Optical Spectroscopy and Macroscopic Techniques, A.F. Drake : Methods in Molecular Biology, Vol 22 1994 (Edited by C. Jones, B. Mulloy and A. H. Thomas).
  • Protein-Ligand Interactions: Structure and Spectroscopy, A.F. Drake : 2001 (Edited by E. Harding and Babur Z. Chowdhry, Oxford University Press).
  • Prediction of Protein Structure and the Principles of Protein Conformation1989, Edited by G.D. Fasman, Plenum Press.

For further information please see our Pharmaceutical Optical & Chiroptical Spectroscopy Facility Pamphlet here below.

Attached files
Pharmaceutical Optical Chiroptical Spectroscopy Facility Pamphlet 2010 (pdf, 301 KB)

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