The creation of the siFractor- an interview with Dr. Jan Medenbach

siTOOLs latest device, the siFractor is a game changer for any application involving the fractionation of centrifugated samples. Its applications include isolation of protein complexes and RNPs, purification of extracellular vesicles and ribosome profiling (Ribo-Seq). We sat with the co-creator of the siFractor, Dr. Jan Medenbach and asked him how the siFractor works, its benefits and what led him to co-create this device.

1. Could you tell us briefly about yourself

My name is Jan Medenbach.  I’m a Group Leader at the University of Regensburg in Bavaria, Germany and I’ve been working in RNA Biology for more than 20  years now.

2. What is siFractor and what it is for?

It’s a device meant for fractionation of samples from ultra-centrifugation tubes so you basically insert your tube and the device itself is hooked up into a host system, an FPLC machine, which allows you to fractionate the sample from the tube and to monitor simultaneously different parameters such as UV absorption and conductivity of the sample. The whole system gives you utmost control about fractionation of the sample.

3. What led you to co-create siFractor?

I was doing many ultra-centrifugation runs in the past and I wasn’t happy with the available equipment for fractionation. It was error prone and results were not very reproducible. The detectors were not very sensitive and essentially, I lost many samples which was very frustrating. So, I had to come up with a better solution.

4. How does siFractor work?

The underlying principle is quite simple and it’s very old. A needle is used to pierce the ultra-centrifugation tube and to deliver a dense chase solution which will then displace your sample and push it through the FPLC machine for analysis and fractionation.

It can be hooked up to this whole system which gives you great control of over fractionation at the same time it’s meant to operate at higher pressure giving you high flow rates for fractionation so you can also save a lot of time while being able to monitor with very sensitive detectors your sample while it’s pushed through the machine.

5. Where can you find information on the siFractor?

For more information you can visit the siTOOLs Biotech website.