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The toxin laboratory

The toxin laboratory at FOI’s Division of CBRN Defence and Security* has been specially designed to handle toxins and toxin peptides.

The laboratory has a class III fume glove box for the handling of toxins and toxin peptides and two fume cupboards for working with diluted or non-toxic proteins. The laboratory instrumentation consists of an HPLC with fraction collector, a spectrophotometer, centrifuges and equipment for SDS gel electrophoresis.
The toxin laboratory has been licensed by OPCW** for the extraction, cleaning and analysis of the extremely hazardous peptide toxin castor, which is subjected to restrictions that implies that all production of or work with castor must be documented and reported to CWC.

Since FOI can handle such active toxins as castor it is also possible to appraise detection equipment, identification methods or antibodies for toxins.

In the toxin laboratory toxins and peptide toxins can be cleaned and characterized using several methods such as for example:
• Cleaning using HPLC, centrifugation or SPE columns.

• Quantification using UV measuring or SDS gel electrophorese.
• Quality control using SDS gel electrophorese.

After characterization of a produced toxin or peptide set a diluted quantity can be created in order to make it possible to perform further analyses in other places than in the toxin laboratory. For this liquid chromatography or capillary electrophoresis is used, in both cases in combination with high-resolution mass spectrometers (LC-MS/MS and CE-MS/MS).

* CBRN is a designation for chemical (C), bacteriological (B), radiological (R) or nuclear (N) weapons. It replaces the previous designation NBC.
** OPCW stands for Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

FOI, Swedish Defence Research Agency

Swedish Defence Research Agency
SE-164 90 Stockholm

Phone +46 8 555 030 00
Fax +46 8 555 031 00

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