What is SVEDBERG?
SVEDBERG is a Windows program for whole-boundary analysis of sedimentation velocity data. It fits directly to the raw scans (usually spanning the entire run) to derive the sedimentation coefficient and molar mass (or, if you prefer, sedimentation coefficient and diffusion coefficient) for up to 6 independent species (mixtures of up to 6 components).
The program is designed to be easy to use, even for novices, yet it also offers many options for the 'power user' when they are needed. It uses multi-page analysis 'documents' and a familiar user interface with toolbars and buttons, making it similar to other Windows programs to reduce the learning curve. It also incorporates a number of intelligent 'wizards' that automatically accomplish tasks such as locating the meniscus position, removal of systematic noise ("jitter") and fringe jumps from interference scans, and even making reasonable initial guesses for the molecular parameters.
This is not a package that tries to do everything---its purpose is to implement one particular approach (analysis of single species and mixtures), do that very well and very easily, and do it in a highly reproducible and well-documented manner. It is not intended to be able to handle samples where the data is strongly influenced by dynamic reversible-association reactions (interacting boundaries). However when reversible interactions are strong enough that a reversible oligomer or complex can be treated as a single species then SVEDBERG is quite useful for identifying the molar mass (stoichiometry) of that species, which in turn can be a very useful input to analysis of data using other software acquired under conditions where the dynamic interactions are more significant.
The success of this approach is demonstrated by its use in 140+ known publications. More significantly, many of these are from intermittent or casual users of AUC, proving you don't have to devote years to learning data analysis to successfully answer important research questions with SV.
The program is distributed as "trial-ware"; it can be downloaded for a 60-day free trial period.
How does SVEDBERG differ from the multi-component models in Peter Schuck's SEDFIT?
SEDFIT is an excellent program with many strengths. It's 'non-interacting discrete species' model is essentially equivalent to the model used in SVEDBERG, except it derives the theoretical fits via finite-element numerical methods rather than approximate analytical functions. Both approaches can give an accuracy of better than 1% for hydrodynamic properties, i.e. more than sufficient for any real experiment.
The analytical function approach used in SVEDBERG is faster to compute and its Gauss-Newton fitting algorithm often converges more rapidly (especially when many components are present) than the algorithms available in SEDFIT. Thus overall SVEDBERG is generally faster and easier to use, and can successfully converge on multi-species fits in situations where SEDFIT fails to converge on a solution.
Perhaps more significantly, SVEDBERG always gives error estimates for all the fitted parameters, and can derive robust confidence limits for all parameters when desired. SEDFIT never gives error estimates or true confidence limits for concentration or species fractions, and can only derive confidence limits for s or M for a single component and through a lengthy procedure.
Another key difference is that SVEDBERG provides comprehensive, well-formatted printed reports that completely document the analysis, and which can be pasted into a word processor or electronic lab notebook. SEDFIT has no reporting capability.
SVEDBERG saves all data and parameters into a single file that can be quickly restored. SEDFIT has an incomplete ability to restore all aspects of previous analyses, making it difficult to reproduce what you have done.
Some other advantages of SVEDBERG over SEDFIT:
Some advantages of SEDFIT over SVEDBERG:
Why isn't SVEDBERG distributed for free like some other AUC software packages?
Programs such as SEDFIT and ULTRASCAN were developed and are supported using government funds; approximately $1 million in tax dollars have been spent on developing and supporting those programs, to mention just two of many. No government or grant funds have been used in developing SVEDBERG, and none are available for providing user support. Distribution of SVEDBERG is paid for by its users, and the total income from program licenses represents ~1% of what has been spent on developing "free" programs.
The essence of the shareware concept is to provide you with software that you can "try before you buy", while (at least partially) compensating the developers time, effort, and expenses to create and support the program. Taxpayers had no choice about whether to pay for the "free" AUC programs, but you do have a choice. If after your free trial you don't think SVEDBERG is worth paying for, then simply don't use it.
What does SVEDBERG cost?
To continue using this program after the 60-day trial period, or to publish results of analyses run during the trial period, you must purchase a software license for $500 (discounted to $250 for academic and non-profit institutions). Current license holders of DCDT+ version 2 can add a SVEDBERG license at a special discounted 'bundle' price of $300 (only $100 for academic/non-profit).
This fee primarily covers the cost of supporting and distributing the program; it would need to be an order of magnitude higher to cover the thousands of hours that went into program and Help file development.
This is a "site" license and users may run the program on multiple computers at a single site. For academic/non-profit licenses "site" means a single laboratory or a single Facility. Analytical centrifuges housed in more than one department or building of a university, or under the control of independent principal investigators, by definition represent different 'sites' and therefore each of those sites must purchase its own license. For users in industry a "site" is by definition a single analytical centrifuge, and companies are expected to buy a license for each centrifuge.
Registered users will receive support for their questions, free updates, and quick fixes for any bugs they find. To date all bugs have been fixed in 1 month or less (and often in less than a week). Don't you wish you could say the same about the other software you use?
There is no functional difference between the "trial" and "registered" versions of the program. Registered users are supplied a serial number which removes the 60-day use restriction, and only registered users may publish results or figures generated by the program.
Registered users will receive support for their questions, and rapid fixes for any bugs they find. They also optionally receive a PDF file to produce a comprehensive user manual.
Detailed information about payment by check or purchase order, and placing credit card orders by phone or the Internet, is contained here and in the program Help file.
The program is only available electronically by downloading (although users who wish to purchase a CD-ROM containing the downloadable installation file may do so when they order a license via credit card through NorthStar solutions).
SVEDBERG 7 runs under Windows 98, NT, 2000, XP, Vista, or Windows 7. Use via Windows dual-boot configurations on MacIntosh systems is neither supported nor guaranteed.
This program also requires the Microsoft .NET framework to be present on the computer. This is often already true for newer computers. If it is not already present, this is detected during installation and a link is given so it can be downloaded from Microsoft and installed.
Although SVEDBERG will run correctly at a 640x480 (VGA) video resolution, a resolution of 1024 x 768 or higher is highly recommended.
Program installation requires approximately 11 MBytes of disk space (most of
which is for the comprehensive Help file).