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Differential Scanning Calorimeter

The VP-DSC microcalorimeter measures the heat changes that occur in a chemical/physical process throughout a range of temperatures. By recording heat changes as a function of temperature, information on thermally induced structural transitions and relative stability of macromolecules can be obtained.  DSC is well suited for stability and folding studies as well as testing the reversibility of thermal processes.  Since the DSC measures only heat change, there is no need to tag or modify the macromolecules you wish to study.


  • Monitors conformational energetics of proteins and biopolymers
  • Determination of macromolecule domain structure
  • Determination of thermal stability and reversibility
  • Chemical half-life determination
  • Formulation stability studies
  • To follow the temperature transitions of lipids and membrane components


  • Operating temperature range: -10oC to 130oC
  • If you intend to use the instrument at a temperature below the freezing point of your sample, which will irreparably damage the cells, fill with only 230 ml or add a non-freezing solution.
  • Sample cell volume: ~0.6 ml
  • Strong bases, sulfuric acid and fluoride ions are not to used in the cells

Sample Requirements

  • All solutions must be degassed before loading into the DSC
  • Sample concentration: 0.1 mg/ml - 3 mg/ml

Supplies You Should Bring for Your Experiment

  • 3 ml syringes (2 per experiment)
  • If you plan to degas your solutions here with the ThermoVac, bring small stir bars
  • A floppy or ZIP disc to save your data

Training, Assistance or Instrument Problems

If you need training or some assistance with your DSC experiment, please contact Ben Ramirez PRIOR to scheduling instrument time.

If there is a problem with the instrument, please let Ben Ramirez know.  If you cannot find him in the facility, leave a note on the door of Room 112 or send an email.  It is the responsibility of the previous user to clean the instrument.  If it is not clean when you arrive to use the instrument, please note it in the log book and tell Ben.

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