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Viral Vector Facility

Terms & Conditions


The VVF offers two categories of services

  • custom-made services
  • premade (repository) services

Both categories of services are available through VVF's Ordering System.


Orders become binding once their status is set to

  • "Order initiated" (custom-made services)
  • "Order submitted" (premade services)



Package dimensions [mm] / net weight / approximate gross weight [kg]

  • Switzerland and part of Europe: 315 x 300 x 255 / 0.6 / 5
  • Europe & USA: 295 x 295 x 330 / 0.74 / 8
  • Rest: 405 x 360 x 364 / 1.32 / 15


  • FedEx, DHL and TNT (no UPS); other carriers possible upon request

Shipping under VVF's FedEx account

  • covers at cost price the shipping costs and surcharges for dry ice and fuel
  • taxes and additional costs are at the expense of customer


  • The importer of the products must be able to provide all necessary import licenses to authorities and the carrier in charge upon request.

Proforma invoice

  • A proforma invoice will be issued for the shipping with a declared value of CHF 10.00.

Shipping conditions

  • FOB (Free On Board) shipping point


  • Suitable package and cooling material (preferentially dry ice) required to be provided by customer.
  • Public transportation must be in agreement with all regulations that apply.

Origin of Products

  • The exporter of the products listed in a dispatch note declares that, except where otherwise clearly indicated, these products are of Swiss preferential origin.

UN classification of products

  • UN 3373 (biological substances, category B)
  • UN 1845 (dry ice)

Harmonized tariff schedule (HTS) code

  • 3002.9000 (viral vectors)
  • 3822.00 (plasmid-DNA)


  • The handling of biological material must be in agreement with all international, national and local regulations.
  • Researchers must obtain all legal permissions prior to the use of the biological material.
  • Biological material (or any derivative) offered by the VVF is intended for preclinical research and excludes any use in humans.

Material transfer agreements

Material transfer agreements (MTAs) to use the offered services may be required in case

  • the AAV vector capsid was created by directed evolution
    (an MTA to use AAV serotype 2 capsid variant “retro” is requested by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and provided by the VVF)
  • the plasmid-DNA and associated viral vectors originate entirely from a third party
    (for example Addgene; DREADD AAV vectors require no MTA)
  • the plasmid-DNA and associated viral vectors contain parts originating from a third party

The information about the source of each product is available thourgh VVF's ordering system.

It is customer's responsability to obtain all required MTAs.

AAV vectors

Downloadable electronic information provided through VVF's ordering system:

  • electronic sequences of AAV vector plasmids are provided as genbank (.gb) files
  • annotated images of AAV vector genomes are provided as scalable vector graphic (.svg) files

AAV vectors are

  • ultracentrifuged (Optiprep)
  • diafiltered against 1x PBS, pH 7.4 (including 1 mM MgCl2 and 2.5 mM KCl).

Identity check

  • The identity of the packaged genomes is analyzed by Sanger DNA-sequencing of amplicons produced from the AAV vectors.

50 µl aliquots

  • contain + 10 % extra volume
  • are stored in 0.2 ml polypropylene PCR-tubes (free of DNase, RNase and human DNA)
  • are shipped within a second secured and labelled transport container (containing an adsorbent) that is placed into a sealed plastic bag

Physical titers (vector genomes/milliliter, vg/ml) are

  • quantified by a fluorometric method
  • at least @ 1 x 10E12 vg/ml

Physical titers may be lower in case the AAV vector

  • genome is oversized (single-stranded: > 4900, self-complementary: > 2500 nucleotides)
  • plasmid encodes constitutively expressed sequences that negatively impact the AAV vector production
  • plasmid is characterized and amplified by customer

Handling upon receipt

  • Upon receipt of AAV vectors shipped on dry ice, it is recommended to store the AAV vectors immediately in a - 80 °C freezer for at least 4 days before thawing (in order to prevent pH changes due to gaseous CO2).

In case the 50 µl aliquots are further subaliquoted, please

  • use the above indicated, sterile solvent [1x PBS, pH 7.4 (including 1 mM MgCl2 and 2.5 mM KCl)]
  • prepare final volumes at or higher than 10 µl
  • use low protein binding, sterile tubes suitable for long-term storage at - 80 °C (we use polypropylene PCR-tubes; other plastics were not evaluated)


Plasmid-DNA is

  • amplified using multiple-deletion series (MDS™) strain 42 bacteria (LowMut ΔrecA; Scarab Genomics) or any other suitable bacterial strain
  • purified using anion exchange columns (Macherey & Nagel, NucleoBond® Xtra anion-exchange columns) 
  • dissolved in sterile water


  • Proper citation of all material used to produce the products required.


  • Please acknowledge the Viral Vector Facility (VVF) of the Neuroscience Center Zurich (ZNZ).

Best effort

The VVF processes your orders to best knowledge and with greatest care to be a reliable partner for your research projects.

Despite our efforts, the outcome of biological processes may not be entirely predictable.


  • construction and amplification of certain plasmid-DNA may not be possible despite careful and rational design (for example failure of DNA synthesis or instability of plasmid-DNA during amplification)
  • quality controls may not provide meaningful information (for example Sanger DNA-sequencing reactions)
  • viral vector genomes contained within their vector plasmid-DNA may only be partially transferred into virions (for example, certain tdTomato sequences will only be packaged into AAV vectors as dTomato)

If the VVF encounters such situations, you will be informed accordingly and we will discuss together how to proceed.

In the event no alternatives are available, the VVF will only charge you at its cost price for the time and material spent up to this point.


An invoice (ETHZ customers: internal charging) will be issued by the ETH Zurich invoice office.


The Beneficiary of a payment is: ETH Zurich, Scheuchzerstrasse 68/70, 8092 Zurich, Switzerland (and neither the VVF nor the University of Zurich)!

VAT number ETH Zurich

  • CHE-115.203.630

Payment by bank wire transfer (option 1)

  • Swiss Post, Post Finance, CH-3030 Bern, Switzerland; PC-account number: 30-1171-7 • SWIFT/BIC: POFICHBEXXX • SIC: 9000 • IBAN: CH55 0900 0000 3000 1171 7

Payment by bank wire transfer (option 2)

  • Swiss National Bank, Börsenstrasse 15, CH-8022 Zürich, Switzerland; account number: 15500.00036 CHF • SWIFT/BIC: SNBZCHZZ80A • SIC: 100 • IBAN: CH6100100001550000036

Payment by credit card (option 3)

please note:
a surcharge of 5% of the total amount will be added for credit card payments

  • please e-mail the invoice number (or the entire PDF of the invoice) and your credit card information (name of the credit card organization • credit card number • expiry date) to: