Biological Products Core


The Biological Products Core provides the AIDS research community with high quality purified preparations of various strains of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Simian Immunodeficiency Virus (SIV) economically prepared by leveraging the economy of scale. Lot sizes of up to 30L can be produced and purified. Materials provided include infectious virus or chemically inactivated virus prepared by treatment with Aldrithiol-2.

This chemical inactivation method was developed by AIDS and Cancer Virus Program personnel and eliminates infectivity while preserving functional surface proteins including envelope glycoproteins, creating a reagent useful for experiments in which non-infectious viral particles with authentic envelope glycoprotein structure are required. Since the T-cell lines used to propagate HIV and SIV also produce microvesicles (non-viral particles that bud from the cell surface) that can contaminate even highly purified retrovirus preparations, we also produce purified microvesicle preparations from non-infected cell lines for use as a “negative” control reagent matched to virus preparations of interest.

In cases of mutual interest between the AIDS and Cancer Virus Program and requesting laboratories, we can produce and purify your HIV or SIV strain with the aim of not only supporting your research project(s), but also eventually making the virus available to the AIDS research community in general. This can be initiated from your productively infected cell line or, as is often the case, we can derive infected cell lines or cell clones starting with your infectious stock or infectious molecular clone containing plasmid.

Due to our capabilities combined with that of the other ACVP Core laboratories and Research Sections, we are uniquely positioned to develop infected cell lines and cell clones producing highly characterized HIV-1 or SIV strains useful for large scale virus production and purification projects. We also prepare purified virus preparations on small scale (30ml to a few liters) to accommodate the needs of researchers who require smaller amounts of virus. We prepare these in a variety of formats including: infectious, chemically inactivated (Aldrithiol-2, NEM, and others), or fluorescently labeled. These preparations are often made as part of a larger scope of work such as extensive biochemical characterization of the virus by the ACVP Retroviral Protein Chemistry Core laboratory or analysis by electron microscopy (not performed by the ACVP). The Biological Products Core also provides reagents used for an in house developed HIV-1 p24 antigen capture immunoassay, originally developed to monitor virus yields from our production cultures or infectivity assays. These reagents include: the capture antibody (purified mAb against HIV-1 p24), detect antibody (polyclonal anti-HIV-1 p24), and p24 standard (detergent disrupted HIV-1 with a known p24 concentration).

We have several decades of experience with this assay and can assist you in implementing it in your laboratory. In cases of mutual interest between the AIDS and Cancer Virus Program and requesting laboratories, our laboratory can perform the production and purification of monoclonal antibodies from existing hybridomas and recombinant proteins or antibody clones derived from transfected Expi293F cells. Purification is accomplished using a GE ACTA FPLC system and preparations of low endotoxin content can be prepared.

Our main objective is to provide the AIDS research community access to the biological products, most of which are unique, that we efficiently produce. Most of these can be obtained through a simple Material Transfer Agreement (MTA) between the requesting laboratory and the National Cancer Institute, which we will assist you in establishing.

Please contact us if you feel we can be of assistance in your research.

Complete publications list

Biological Products Core Staff

Julian Bess, Jr., M.S.Julian W. Bess, Jr., M.S.
Core Head
Phone: 301-846-5981
Fax: 301-846-5588

  • Smith, Rodman
  • Ireland, Terra
  • Westcott, David
  • Vijayagopalan, Anitha