Facilities and Equipment
Over £1m has been spent on our laboratory facilities to deliver state-of-the-art equipment that supports both plate reader assays, high-content microscopy and the the necessary equipment needed to process these samples in a high-throughput fashion.
The SRSF uses a Molecular Devices ImageXpress Micro to acquire images either in 96, 384 well or slide format. We currently use black Perkin Elmer View Plates (#60017460), with 0.17mm plastic 'coverslip' bottoms. The ImageXpress Micro has the filters sets for DAPI/Hoechst, FITC/GFP, CY3/Deep Red, Texus Red and CY5/Far Red acquisition, but if you need any other filter type, then you should contact us for further information. Screeners should also be aware a library screen generates between 0.5 and 2Terabytes of data. The microscope is also available for use for non-RNAi screeners and is priced comparatively to the departmental confocal microscope.
Bulk Liquid Handling
The SRSF has 3 Multidrop bulk liquid handling units. These machines are seen as our workhorses and can dispense liquids into either 96 or 384 format. Dispensing speeds and amounts can be changed to provide a flexible method of adding cells/reagents to RNAi experiements. In addition to the blanket coverage of a plate the individual pipettes can be split to provide 8 separate channels for the addition of liquids in rows across plates.
The Varioskan plate reader can read from both the top and bottom of plates and can be used for absorbance, lumiescence, and fluorescence. The reader has a filter allowing for the detection of renilla luminescence post firefly lucifase detection from the same reaction vessel.
The facility hosts 3 laminar flow cabinets, complete with UV. All 3 cabinets are 5 feet wide making them larger than the majority of laminar air flow workstations. We are able to house 2 pieces of equipment in them, as well as the normal cell culture consumables, if needed.
The incubators that reside in the SRSF cells room are large Sanyo ambient and above temperature modules. They are equipped with an internal water try for humidity and a UV sterilization bulb that is door operated.