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Viral Vector Facility

Custom-made viral vectors

In addition to our AAV repository, we also offer custom-made viral vector production.

A custom-made viral vector production is the service of choice if your desired viral vector

  • is not of general interest (e. g. containing a rarely used promoter or a specific shRNA) and will thus not be added to our repository
  • is of general interest but its usage is covered by an MTA which doesn't allow to include it into our repository
  • is needed in larger amounts
  • is a lentiviral or γ-retroviral vector


  • academia: 1500 CHF
  • industry: 2000 CHF
  • VVF-members: 1000 CHF

Prices are net prices. Further information about prices and shipping costs can be found here.

Ordering of a custom-made viral vector has to be done via our Ordering System. For an overview of how to become registered and how to use the ordering system, please have a look here.


The VVF currently offers the production of single-stranded and self-complementary AAVs, lentiviruses and γ-retroviruses. The preparation of other viral vectors, like rabies virus, is planned.

Viral vector plasmids are either provided by the customer "ready-to-transfect" or provided by the VVF.

"Ready-to-transfect" viral vector plasmid-DNA means:

  • customer provides at least 300 μg sterile, anion exchange purified and isopropanol precipitated plasmid DNA dissolved in water
  • customer has characterized the viral vector plasmid DNA to be functional for successful viral vector production

The VVF provides the helper plasmids.

Virus preparation aliquots and titers

We usually produce 1 ml, aliquoted to 20 x 50 μl. If a higher titer is needed, we can adapt our purification protocol and concentrate the virus preparation more (at the expense of the volume). The final virus preparation can also be aliquoted according to your needs (not less than 50 μl per aliquot).

For AAV vectors, physical titers are determined by a fluorometric method and are expected to reach at least 1 x 10E12 vg/ml. Functional titers of lentiviral and γ-retroviral vectors depend on customer’s settings and will not be determined by the VVF.

Please note that titers might be lower in case

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


A single viral vector production with purification, concentration and quantification is anticipated to last no longer than 4 weeks.

Weiterführende Informationen

AAV serotype 3B and 4 vectors

The Viral Vector Facility also offers the production of serotype 3B and 4 AAV vectors. Although the tropism of these serotypes is not yet thoroughly explored, they seem to be more restricted to specific cell types compared to other serotypes.

Improvement of AAV vector purification

The Viral Vector Facility has established an improved protocol for AAV vector purification. By using the Minilys from Bertin Technologies for lysis of producer cells, the time consuming freeze-thaw cycles can be omitted.