Utrecht Nanobody Facility


Next to their repertoire of conventional antibodies, animals of the camelidae family also have smaller antibodies, which are composed of heavy chain only and are devoid of light chains. These unusual small sized antibodies can be further reduced in size in absence of the Fc region. This structure is called single domain antibody (sdAb), variable domain of the heavy chain antibody (VHH) or nanobody. Nanobodies belong to the smallest functional antigen-binding fragments (around 15 kDa), which are only one tenth the size of a conventional antibody.


Nanobodies that bind to any possible target can be selected using phage display technology. The facility is experienced in further functionalisation of the nanobodies using different conjugation strategies including sortase tagging and click-chemistry. Examples exist for application of different nanobody conjugates for superresolution light microcopy, electron microcopy, and for development of novel diagnostic and therapeutic approaches including targeted nanoparticles and photodynamic therapy. 


  • Llama immunisation
  • Library production
  • Selection
  • Characterisation
  • Functionalisation
  • Production

Main equipment

  • AKTAxpress and AKTA prime
  • Fermentor BioFlo 115
  • BioFlo 115
  • Odyssey
  • Pearl imager
  • Light and Electron microscopes


Paul van Bergen en Henegouwen
Utrecht Nanobody Facility (UNF)
Division of Cell Biology
Department of Biology /Science Faculty
Padualaan 8
3584GE Utrecht

Phone: +31 30 253 4521
Website: bit.ly/utrecht-nanobody

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