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Facilities

Our research in the BMRC is strongly underpinned by our state-of-the-art facilities containing the latest in biological and chemical analysis equipment.

Cell culture suite

This suite contains

  • separate laboratories for sample preparation, primary cell culture and secondary cell culture
  • two flow cytometry instruments
  • a four colour Facsalibur
  • a 10 colour Galios

Flow cytometry is a means of measuring certain physical and chemical characteristics of cells as they travel in suspension one by one past a sensing point. The flow cytometers consist of a light source, collection optics, electronics and a computer to translate signals to data. We can measure physical characteristics such as cell size, shape and internal complexity. Any cell component or function that can be detected by a fluorescent compound can be examined.

As the applications of flow cytometry are numerous, this has led to the widespread use of these instruments in the biological and medical fields. In addition, our flow cytometers have the ability to sort or physically separate particles of interest from a sample.

Microscope suite

Our microscope suite contains

  • fluorescent microscopes with both manual and motorised stages
  • a confocal microscope

We are currently using confocal microscopy to analyse corrosion rates in surfaces treated with anti-corrosion sol-gel coatings and also to analyse expression of water channel proteins in cells.

Mass spectrometry suite

Mass spectrometry (MS) is used to solve a range of bioanalytical problems.

A range of projects are in progress which are concerned with the utilisation of matrix assisted laser desorption mass spectrometry imaging (MALDI-MSI) for imaging the distribution of chemicals and biomarkers in a wide range of sample types. We currently have facilities for both standard and high resolution imaging using our newly acquired Synapt G2 instrument.

For more information on these facilities please see our commercial pages or the staff profiles of Professor Malcolm Clench and Dr Simona Francese.

Analytical suite

The analytical suite houses equipment for the biological and chemical analysis of a number of different sample types. Equipment includes

  • GC, GC-MS
  • ICP-MS and ICP-OES
  • LC-MS, LC-MS/MS and nano-LC-MS
  • Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy
  • FTIR
  • HPLC and Diode Array HPLC
  • NMR

Microbiology suite

Our facilities include

  • incubators for culturing micro-organisms in both aerobic and anaerobic conditions
  • two 10 litre fermenters for large scale culture production
  • facilities for growth of organisms on non-standard carbon sources, ie methane
  • cell press for cell lysis

Molecular biology suite

We have facilities for the molecular analysis of RNA, DNA and proteins, including

  • PCR
  • RT-PCR
  • automated protein purification systems
  • pyrosequencing
  • agarose and acrylamide gel imaging
  • infra-red western blot imaging (Licor Odyssey Imager)
  • fluorescent and colourimetric plate readers
  • biacore for label-free surface plasmon resonance analysis

A full list of our equipment can be found here.

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