New Instrumentation for the Lumigen Instrument Center
Over the past year, the Lumigen Instrument Center (LIC) has procured a cyro-ultramicrotome, upgraded our electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) and inductive coupled plasma optical emission (ICP OES) spectrometers, and currently is piloting two Shimadzu mass spectrometers (MALDI-TOF and LCMS-8040) until late February. The procurement and upgrade of instrumentation is a necessary piece of the university's plan to maintain competitive research programs.
An RMC PTPC Ultramicrotome with a CR-X Universal Cryosectioning System was purchased from Boeckeler Instruments. Special features include a computer interface which allows the researcher to view at high magnification and resolution. Both screen shots and videos can be taken and used for training and research presentations. The ultramicrotome allows for the sectioning of plastic resin-embedded tissues (thickness of 5 nm to 10,000 nm) with a temperature range of -180 to -25oC. The cryo-ultramicrotome is used for both biological and materials science applications, retaining true structure and related physical properties. The Lumigen Instrument Center also purchased a GKMII Knife Maker and glass strips, and Microstar diamond knife which allows for seamless usage. This equipment is now housed in the newly-renovated Laboratory of Analytical Microscopy, managed by Dr. Zhi "Mike" Mei in the basement of the Chemistry Building.
Electron Paramagnetic Resonance Spectrometer
Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy has the potential to detect one or more unpaired electrons in atoms and molecules. Unlike common nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopic methods, the frequency of irradiation in continuous wave (CW) EPR is held constant while the magnetic field strength is varied. The Bruker CW EPR spectrometer in the department uses X-band microwaves (9.3 - 9.5 GHz) to help elucidate the electronic configuration of d-block metals, the presence and nature of organic radicals, as well as fundamental properties of f-block metals. The variable temperature (VT) cryostat-equipped spectrometer can cool samples down to 80 Kelvin with liquid nitrogen or down to 4 Kelvin with liquid helium. For example, Levi Ekanger (Allen group) is involved with projects exploring the potential of europium(II)-based contrast agents for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The seven unpaired electrons in both europium(II) and gadolinium(III) produce distinct signatures in an EPR spectrum from which fundamental magnetic parameters can be derived.
Inductively Coupled Plasma Optical Emission Spectrometer
Inductively couple plasma optical emission spectroscopy (ICP-OES) can be used to quantify trace metals. Examples of ICP-OES applications include trace element in tissues, sediment, food, soils, and water. Mr. Corey Lambert, ICP-OES technician, is available to share his expertise in sample preparation, instrument operation and data interpretation.
Shimadzu AXIMA Assurance (pilot evaluation 8/1/13-2/31/13)
The Shimadzu AXIMA Assurance is an affordable, robust instrument designed for routine chemical analysis to identify oligonucleotides/primers, synthetic peptides/proteins, polymer analysis, and small molecules. It is a linear MALDI-TOF mass spectrometer with N2 laser, positive and negative ion modes, > 5000 FWHM mass resolution, and 250 amol sensitivity. This system has flexible target formats which include a Bruker adapter.
Shimadzu LCMS-8040 (pilot evaluation 8/1/13-2/31/13)
The Shimadzu LCMS-8040 provides high sensitivity and high speed scanning LCMS. Using improved ion optics and collision cell technology, the LCMS-8040 provides higher transition speeds with up to 555 multiple reaction monitoring (MRM) per second, as well as fast polarity switching every 15 milliseconds. With improved ion focusing, it has also shown to have a five-fold increase in sensitivity. Using UHPLC methods with the LCMS-8040, fast separation and detection in the lower femtogram levels is achievable. MRM optimization is also easier with the LCMS-8040 with the use of automated flow injection analysis run by the LabSolutions software. The LCMS-8040 is attached to a UHPLC system with Photodiode Array (PDA) and fluorescence detection also for use as standalone or combined with the mass spectrometry capabilities. It can be used to detect, identify, and quantitate a multitude of molecules such as cyanotoxins, peptides, drugs of abuse, pesticides, metabolites, and endocrine regulatory molecules.