Lentivirus Packaging

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We provide lentivirus packaging services with rapid turnaround and unbeatable prices. We can also custom-build lentiviral vectors based on your research needs. Save yourself the hassle of vector construction and virus packaging, and receive high-titer custom lentivirus plus control GFP virus in just a few weeks.

◆ Workflow of Lentivirus Packaging Services

workflow of lentivirus packaging services

◆ Description of Services

Construction of lentiviral vector
You can design your lentiviral vector using our online vector design tool VectorBuilder, and we will custom-build the vector for you. If you provide your own vector rather than contracting us to make it, we strongly recommend that you send it to us in E. coli, so we can purify the DNA using protocols optimized for virus packaging. If you wish to prepare your own DNA, we require a minimum of 200 µg for standard-scale packaging and 1,000 µg for large-scale packaging, preferably prepared using Qiagen’s maxiprep kit (Cat. No. 12362).


Packaging system
Packaging is performed using the third-generation lentivirus packaging system. The lentiviral vector is transfected into our optimized packaging cells along with appropriate helper plasmids. Packaged virus released into the media is purified by PEG centrifugation, which is sufficiently pure for in vitro applications. Virus produced with this system is replication incompetent and very safe. We cannot package lentiviral vectors based on the first- or second-generation system.


Measurement of lentivirus titer
Virus titer is measured by a qPCR-based method and given in transduction unit per ml (TU/ml). 293 cells are infected by the virus preparation at several concentrations. Genomic DNA is then extracted from the cells, followed by qPCR to determine the number of viral genomes per cell. This number is then used to calculate virus titer.

◆ Price and Turnaround Time


Expected titer


Turnaround time

Construction of lentiviral vector


Please inquire

5-30 days

Packaging of lentivirus Medium scale

> 108, 1 ml


7-14 days

Large scale

> 109, 1 ml


7-14 days


> 109, 1 ml


7-14 days

Control GFP lentivirus*

0.2 ml



* For each order of custom-packaged lentivirus, an aliquot of the appropriate control lentivirus will be provided for free.
NoteIf you provide us your own vector, we can purify the DNA using protocols optimized for lentivirus packaging.

◆ Guarantee

In cases where the lentiviral vectors are created by Cyagen, we guarantee virus titers at or better than the expected titers listed in the table above, provided that the size of the packaged sequence (from 5’ LTR to 3’ LTR on the vector) is ≤ 9 kb. For sizes > 9 kb, packaging efficiency can be compromised. Also, our guarantee may not apply if the vector contains sequences of very high GC content (> 70% across a few hundred bases) that can reduce packaging efficiency, or genes toxic to packaging cells.

◆ Lentivirus Titer Measurement

Three approaches have been developed to determine lentivirus titer. One relies on directly measuring the amount of virus present in a preparation, such as by ELISA to quantitate viral protein or by qRT-PCR to quantitate the amount of viral RNA genome. It tends to overestimate virus titer because a large fraction of viral particles could be dead. The second approach relies on infecting control cells with the virus preparation, and counting the number of transduced cells either by their expression of a visualization marker such as GFP or by the formation of drug-resistant colonies. This approach tends to underestimate virus titer because a cell could be transduced by multiple viral particles and additionally, some transduced cells might not be counted if marker expression does not reach the threshold of detection. Furthermore, this approach is applicable only if the vector carries a visualization or drug-selection marker. The third approach also relies on infecting control cells, but it measures the average number of viral genome per cell by qPCR rather than counting the number of transduced cells. This method, which is what we use, is considered more accurate than the other methods and also does not depend on the expression of visualization or drug-selection markers. 

◆ Important Considerations in Using Lentivirus

Lentivirus has the advantage of being competent to transduce a wider variety of mammalian cell types (including nondividing cells such as neurons) as compared to other viruses. Still, not all cell types are equally susceptible to lentivirus transduction. We use 293 cells to measure virus titer. But the titer we provide should only be used as a rough guide when deciding how much virus to use on your cell type of interest. We therefore recommend that you infect your cells with the control GFP virus first in order to establish the appropriate amount of virus needed to achieve the desired transduction efficiency on your cells. It should also be noted that while using an excess amount of virus can result in high transduction efficiency, some cell types might get sick or die when the multiplicity of infection (MOI) is too high.

◆ Price Matching

If you find another commercial service provider that offers better pricing than ours, we will match the price plus an additional 5% off.

◆ Payments

For services valued at < $5,000, payment is due after completion of the project. For services valued at ≥ $5,000, there is a 50% upfront payment before the project, and the remaining 50% plus shipping charge is paid after completion of the project.

◆ Bulk Discount

We offer up to 10% bulk discount for large orders. Large orders are defined as 10 or more projects from the same institution. If you bundle your order with that of your colleagues, you can all qualify for the bulk discount.

◆ Shipping

Products are shipped from our Santa Clara, California facility. Packaged virus is shipped on dry ice, and the shipping charge includes courier cost plus a $45 handling fee. DNA constructs are shipped in E. coli at room temperature, and the charge includes courier cost plus a $10 handling fee. We typically ship by FedEx.

◆ Customer References

Please click here view a map of customers who have used Cyagen before worldwide.

◆ Citations

Please click here for a list of publications that have cited Cyagen. 

◆ Confidentiality

We consider all reagents and animals resulting from our services to be the customers’ property. All information regarding our services, including customer identity and contact information, is kept confidential.

◆ Inquiries and Quote Requests

Request a quote now. Alternatively, you can always email service@cyagen.com or call 800-921-8930 to inquire about our services or obtain a quote for your project.