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Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR) Facility in Life Sciences at the Chemistry-Biology interface

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Plateforme technologique Aix-Marseille

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Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR) is a central technique for characterizing paramagnetic species. In the field of Life Sciences, it is particularly well suited for molecular analysis of biological systems, their functions and interactions.

The EPR facility is part of the five french centres of the French national EPR network : “Infrastructure de Recherche” RENARD TGE-RPE – IR CNRS 3443. It is the most important center in terms of EPR equipments and human resources. This EPR facility is mostly dedicated to applications and developments in Life Sciences at the Chemistry-Biology interface. It benefits from the scientific support of a team of 7 researchers and 2 research engineers.

Scientific directors : Bruno GUIGLIARELLI & Valérie BELLE.

Facility managers : Emilien ETIENNE & Guillaume GERBAUD.

Interests of EPR in Life Sciences

  • Structural analysis at the atomic and molecular level of biological systems.
  • Study of the function of complex redox enzymes.
  • Protein dynamics.
  • Protein-protein interactions.


  • Determination of the metal content.
  • Analysis of metal cofactors.
  • Detection of free radicals (oxidative stress, dosimetry, enzymatic mechanisms).
  • Insertion of paramagnetic labels → Biostructural EPR.

Fields of application

  • Microbial bioenergetic metabolism.
  • Molecular sensitivity to stress factors (oxidative, thermal, chemical stress).
  • Enzymatic engineering.
  • Mapping molecular interactions between physiological partners.
  • Study of structural transitions and folding / unfolding events.
  • Organization of large biological assemblages.
  • In-cell biostructural EPR.

Users of the site

  • Academic laboratories in Biology, Chemistry and Physics.
  • Open to companies and industrialists.


• Spectrometer 1 : Bruker ELEXSYS E580

  • Multifrequency : X-band (9 GHz, pulsed mode), Q-band (35 GHz, pulsed mode) and W-band W (95 GHz, pulsed and continuous mode).
  • Temperature : 1.5 - 300 K.
  • Cryofree system (recycled Helium) : 5.5 - 240 K
  • Arbitrary Wave Generator for the shaping of the microwave pulses
  • Double resonance : ENDOR et ELDOR (DEER) at X and Q-band, ELDOR (DEER) at W-band

• Spectrometer 2 : Bruker ELEXSYS E500 continuous wave

  • S-band (4 GHz), X-band (9 GHz), Q-band (35 GHz)
  • Temperature range : 1.5 - 300 K.
  • Double resonance : ENDOR (X-band).
  • EPR experiments can be coupled to : electrochemistry, photochemistry

• Spectrometer 3 : Bruker ELEXSYS E500 II continuous wave

  • X-band (9 GHz), Q-band (35 GHz)
  • Temperature range : 80 - 320 K.
  • EPR experiments can be coupled to : electrochemistry, photochemistry

Glovebox for sample preparation under anaerobic conditions

Storage of samples (liquid N2)

Data analysis.

  • SimLabel : developped under Matlab, SimLabel is a graphical user interface dedacated to the simulation of EPR spectra using EasySpin. This GUI was intially developped for the simulation of nitroxide spin labels grafted on proteins.

Financial Supports