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Core Facilities Equipment Descriptions


NOTE:  To use any of the microscopes, contact Dr. Grozdanov at imagecore@ttuhsc.edu or phone: +1 (806) 743-4624.

Image Analysis Core Facility 

  1. 4D-Nucleofector Core X/Y (Lonza).  The X unit supports nucleofection of various cell numbers in different formats and it is used to transfect cells in suspension. The Y unit enables transfection of adherent mammalian cells in 24-well plates. Cells can be transfected with either DNA or RNA. Information about the 4D-Nucleofector is available on the company’s website
  2. Nikon T1-E microscope with A1 confocal and STORM super-resolution modules. The system allows imaging of live or fixed cells and tissues labeled with fluorophores using conventional or confocal microscopy. In addition, the system is equipped to perform a super-resolution microscopy, specifically STochastic Optical Reconstruction Microscopy (STORM). Super-resolution microscopy allows a precise localization of a fluorophore, which is beyond the diffraction limit of light. Super-resolution microscopy achieves resolution ten times greater than conventional optical microscopy. The system is also equipped to perform spectral imaging experiments and other state-of-the-art fluorescent optical approaches (TIRF, FRET, FRAP). A high temporal and spatial resolution EMCCD camera is attached to the system. The system is equipped with a stage top environmental chamber for prolonged observation of living cells (time-lapse microscopy).
  3. Zeiss LSM510/Meta confocal microscope. This system is a conventional confocal microscope fully equipped to image cells and tissues labeled with fluorophores. It also allows for the study of ions with high sensitivity in the inline-scanning mode. It has the capability of performing spectral imaging analysis, albeit at lower resolution than the Nikon system. The system operates using an upright microscope.
  4. Zeiss Axiovert 200 M microscope. This microscope is one of the most popular microscopes in the Image Analysis Core Facility. The microscope is inverted, fully motorized and equipped with 10x, 20x and 63x objectives for a wide filed fluorescence microscopy. Color and monochrome Axiocam CCD cameras are attached to the microscope, allowing capture of colored samples (e.g. H&E, peroxidase stained samples) or low-intensity florescent samples (e.g. YFP, GFP, RFP and DAPI), respectively. The objectives and filters also permit acquisition of phase contrast and differential interference contrast (DIC) images. The microscope stage is equipped with a holder that accommodates various sizes cell culture dishes and plates, allowing a quick examination of transfection efficiency.
  5. Metafluor Imaging System for the study of ion movements in living cells. This system allows the study of ions using ion-fluorescent indicators in living cells. It utilizes a cooled CCD camera (Pentamax) and a rapid filter changer (Lamda DG4) to allow for the changing of the excitation wavelength in as fast as 1 msec. This allows for fast temporal and spatial resolution of images in living cells to study calcium waves, proton gradients or other ions. It is attached to an inverted microscope (Olympus IX70) equipped with DIC optics.
  6. Zeiss Axioimager M2 microscope for stereoscopic analysis. This system is fully motorized and configured for bright field and multi-channel fluorescent imaging. The microscope is equipped with x, y, z motorized stage and Zeiss ApoTome system to create focal optical sections through your thick specimens using structured illumination. Images are acquired with a low noise CMOS chip 2048 x 2048 pixels monochrome digital camera (ORCA-Flash4.0, Hamamatsu). It works with Stereo Investigator, Neurolucida, and deconvolution software (MBF Bioscience).
  7. IVIS Lumina XR (Caliper Sciences). This system allows real time tracking of cells expressing bioluminescent or fluorescent proteins simultaneously with X-ray digital imaging technology in live small animals. It can also be used for tracking bacteria engineered to express luminescent or fluorescent proteins. One of the systems is located in the Laboratory Animal Resources Center (LARC) at TTUHSC to conveniently study immunocompromised mice. The system located in the Image Analysis Core Facility (5AB100) can be used for non-immunocompromised mice or any other small animals.
  8. Other equipment. Additional equipment available in the Image Analysis Core Facility include CO2 incubators and O2/CO2 incubators for normoxic or hypoxic experiments as well as two Biological Safety II Cabinets to allow handling of biological samples under sterile conditions.
  9. Workstation for data analysis. Several computers are available for off-line analysis of digital images created in the facility with all necessary software for image data analysis. 

 

Molecular Biology Core Facility

  1. 2100 Bioanalyzer (Agilent).  The instrument uses microfluidics to resolve RNA, DNA, and protein samples. It is useful to determine the quality of RNA (RNA integrity number) before running microarrays, RNA-seq or real time quantitative PCR measurements. The individual samples are analyzed and a pseudogel image is created. The nucleic acid or protein bands are sized and quantified. The instrument requires minimal amount of sample (4µl). It replaces time-consuming techniques associated with agarose gels or SDS-PAGE with fast, automated, high quality digital data. Preparation time is 5 min and digital data is obtained in 30 minutes.
    More information about the instrument is available on the company’s webpage.
  2. 4D-Nucleofector Core X/Y (Lonza).  The X unit supports nucleofection of various cell numbers in different formats and it is used to transfect cells in suspension. The Y unit enables transfection of adherent mammalian cells in 24-well plates. Cells can be transfected with either DNA or RNA. The instrument is located in the Imaging Core laboratory (5AB100).
    More information about the 4D-Nucleofector is available on the company’s webpage.
  3. Access Array System (Fluidigm).  The access array is a high throughput target-enrichment system. It can enrich multiple unique targets (e.g. exons) from a large number of samples, all at the same time. Multiple samples and amplicons can be simultaneously barcoded (indexed), which streamlines next generation sequencing library preparation.
    More information about the instrument is available on the company’s webpage.
  4. BD Accuri C6 flow cytometer (BD Biosciences).  The system is equipped with a blue and red laser, and four fluorescence detectors with optical filters optimized for the detection of most common fluorophores (e.g., FITC, PE, PerCP, and APC). Any brand of 12 x 75 mm sample tubes and/ or microcentrifuge tubes can be used for the sample preparation. The instrument is also capable of automated data collection from 48- and 96-well plates. It can be used to study many cellular functions, including apoptosis, cell cycle, cell proliferation, mitochondrial membrane potential, immunoassays, cell phenotyping, cytosolic calcium and pH, nitric oxide.
    More information about the instrument is available on the company’s webpage.
  5. BD FACSJazz cell sorter (BD Biosciences).  The instrument is equipped with three lasers [violet (405 nm), blue (488 nm) and red (640 nm)] and six filters. This configuration allows the use of many typical fluorophores (e.g., FITC, GFP, PE, PI PerCP-Cy 5.5, PE-Cy7, APC, APC-H7, CFP, DAPI). The sheath pressure and drop drive frequency are pre-selected to minimize set-up of sorting parameters. Useful for immunophenotyping, stem cell and cancer research, among many other applications. It is housed in a biological safety cabinet with high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters, to prevent accidental exposure of the operators to biological samples.
    More information about the FACSJazz instrument is available on the company’s webpage.
  6. Biolector (MP2 labs). The instrument can be used to grow bacteria, yeast, or mammalian cells in suspension in a 48-well plate. Cell growth (biomass), fluorescence, acid production (pH) and oxygen consumption can be continuously and simultaneously monitored. CO2, oxygen, humidity and temperature are also fully controlled and adjusted. The instrument allows rapid optimization of growth parameters and implementation of cytotoxicity bioassays. A companion for this system is a shaker (Multitron II; offline) that allows performing parallelized experiments, thus freeing the time in the Biolector.
    More information about the instrument is available on the company’s webpage.
  7. C1 Single-Cell Auto Prep System (Fluidigm).  Useful to study single-cell gene expression, single-cell mRNA analysis, and single-cell genomics. It uses microfluidic technology that allows rapid and reliable isolation, processing, and profiling of 96 individual cells. The use of C1 Single-Cell Auto Prep System can be combined with the Access Array System (see above).
    More information about the C1 Single-Cell Auto Prep System is available on the company’s webpage.
  8. Cellometer Vision Image Cytometry (Nexcelom Bioscience). The instrument can be used for simple image cytometry in a 20 µl sample, capable of performing cell cycle analysis, apoptosis, autophagy, cell proliferation, mitochondrial membrane potential, viability assays, morphology analysis and cell counting. Equipped to monitor fluorescence of GFP, FITC, Acridine Orange + DNA, Acridine Orange + RNA, RFP, PI, PE, as well as other commonly used fluorochromes in green and red spectra. It captures images using an integrated digital camera and 20x objective.
    More information about the instrument can be obtained on the company’s webpage.
  9. Cryostat (Bright OTF5000).  This instrument combines a microtome and a freezer allowing thin cryo-sections to be generated for immunohistochemistry and other tissue staining applications. Immunochemically stained sections can be subsequently imaged using any of our other imaging systems located in the Imaging Core Laboratory (5AB100).
  10. ImageStream Mark II (Amnis).  This system combines the speed, statistical power, and fluorescence sensitivity of flow cytometry with the functional insights (e.g. morphology, fluorescent localization) of high-resolution microscopy, making it a high-resolution microscopy in flow. It is equipped with 20x, 40x and 60x objectives, 4 lasers (405 nm, 488 nm, 561 nm, 642 nm, 785 nm), and 12 imaging channels. Dual CCD cameras are used as detectors. This system can be used to evaluate many different fluorochromes in non-adherent cells, i.e., cells in suspension alive or fixed.
    More information about the ImageStream Mark II is available on the company’s webpage.
  11. ImageQuant LAS 4000 (GE Healthcare Life Sciences).  The instrument is a multipurpose 16-bit 3.2 megapixel CCD camera system for sensitive and quantitative imaging of chemiluminescence, standard UV transillumination, or white light gel or blot documentation.
    More information about this instrument can be accessed on the company’s webpage.
  12. Infinite M100 PRO Quadruple monochromator microplate reader (Tecan).  Automated microplate reader for UV, VIS absorption, fluorescence intensity, and fluorescence polarization with time resolved fluorescence, fluorescence resonance energy transfer and alpha screen technology. It can also quantify luminescence and luminescence spectra. Temperature controlled system (up to 42°C) and orbital and linear shaking capabilities. Accommodates 6-, 12-, 24-, 48-, 96-, 384-, and 1536-well plate formats. The spectral resolution is 1 nm.
    More information about the Infinite M100 PRO is available on the company’s webpage.
  13. SECTOR Imager 2400 (Meso Scale Discover, MSD).  This multi-array technology (96- and 384-well, small spot) enables the detection of biomarkers in single and multiplex formats. It utilizes special kits for profiling biomarkers, cell signaling pathways, cancer markers, angiogenesis, cardiovascular diseases, neurodegenerative disorders, apoptosis, metabolites, cytokines and others. It can also be customized for individual applications. It is equipped with an ultra-low noise CCD camera for high dynamic range, sensitivity and rapid read times.
    For more information about the Sector Imager visit the company’s webpage.
  14. Quant Studio 12K Flex real-time PCR system (Life Technologies).  The instrument can be used for gene expression analysis, microRNA profiling, and non-coding RNA analysis using TaqMan or SYBR Green assays. It supports real-time PCR in 96- and 384-well plate formats as well as TaqMan Low density Array cards.
    For more information click here.
  15. The Typhoon FLA 9000 Biomolecular Imager is a variable mode laser scanner for flexible, sensitive imaging and quantitation of proteins, nucleic acids, and other molecules using filmless autoradiography, fluorescence, chemifluorescence, and gel documentation.
    For more information please click here.
NOTE:  To use any of the microscopes, contact Dr. Grozdanov at imagecore@ttuhsc.edu or phone: +1 (806) 743-4624.
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