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Core Facilities

The research facilities include over 30,000 square feet of modern laboratories with the latest instruments for culture of adult stem/progenitor cells; microscopic imaging of cells and tissues; analysis of proteins, messenger RNAs and genes; and data processing.

The research facilities are supported by offices for faculty and administrative staff.  They are also supported by two small conference rooms and a large conference room that seats 100 and that is fully equipped for teleconferencing.

  • DNA Core

    The DNA Core hosts instruments that detect and measure the amounts of the many macromolecules in cells. Laser capture microdissection (LCM) scope enables the isolation of groups of cells or even individual cells from a histological tissue slide or a cell culture dish with high power laser. This permits the studying of a purer population of cells or even individual cells. Different macromolecules, like RNA, can then be isolated from the isolated cells and checked for quantity and quality using capillary electrophoresis system.

    To understand the underlying differences between various samples, their gene expression levels can be studied using microarray system. Using microarrays tens of thousands of gene expression levels can be measured simultaneously anda thorough picture of the expression differences can be obtained. Microarrays can be run for samples from many different species, including human, mouse, and rat.

    For more accurate measuring of gene expression levels and for microarray data validation, real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) can be performed. The core hosts two real-time PCR systems, both capable of measuring absolute and relative quantities of different RNA species. One of the real-time PCR systems is also capable of performing runs in a 384-well (and card) system in addition to the standard 96-well format. This enables faster and more cost effective microarray data validation. All the instruments in the core can be used as a streamlined process or as individual components for specific studies.

  • Flow Cytometry Core

    Principle Investigators utilizing this core facility have two analytical instruments for their flow cytometry analyses. Both deliver quantitative data that identifies and characterizes individual cells by labeling cell surface proteins providing immunophenotypic and lineage data as well as intracellular (cytoplasmic) protein expression in diverse cell types. In addition it performs several functional assays such as apoptosis, mitochondrial membrane potential, intercellular pH, calcium flux (signal transduction), and cell cycle kinetics.

    The first instrument is a two laser (20mW Blue/488nm & 25mW Red/635nm), seven parameter (5-color) Beckman-Coulter FC500 bench top analyzer with a dedicated operator or with training may be used individually.

    The second is a three laser (200mW Blue/488nm, 100mW UV/351nm & 25mW Red/633nm) eleven parameter (9-color) Beckman-Coulter MoFlo XDP fluorescence activated cell sorter. This instrument is capable of sterilely separating and depositing up to four purified subsets of cells into tubes based on any of the eleven parameters at a rate of about 25,000 cells/second.

  • Microscopy Core

    The microscopy core at the Institute of Regenerative contains state of the art microscopes and software for the use of investigators.  A Nikon xenon-based fluorescence microscope coupled with an environmental chamber allow for long duration experiments in normoxic, hyperoxic and hypoxic conditions at physiological temperature.   FRET, FRAP, cell motility and calcium imaging are made easy with the use of Nikon Elements software.  

    In addition, adaptations for intravital videomicroscopy allow researchers to locate and track individual cells within living animals to quantify their survival, differentiation, cellular interactions and many other parameters.  An Olympus spinning disk confocal microscope with Slidebook, Neuroleucida and Stereo Investigator software allows researchers to easily obtain high-quality single plane of focus images.  Users can then create montage images, recreate 3D objects from individual planes, use stereological techniques to count cells and other objects, trace neurons and map regions of the brain and other organs.  Additionally, the IRM microscopy core contains additional microscopes for animal dissections and routine microscopy.

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