The facility was established in 2004 in collaboration with the The Milwaukee Idea and the College of Letters and Sciences to provide research infrastructure, professional expertise and instructional opportunities for UWM and the greater Milwaukee area. The mission of the Biotechnology Facility is to increase and support research in this rapidly growing field and meet the demand for highly trained professionals in the biotechnology industry.
The Facility will assist in
- Building partnerships with regional biotechnology companies.
- Supporting successful transfer to regional businesses.
About the Researchers and their Projects
The rapidly advancing fields of functional genomics and biotechnology have catalyzed extraordinary advancement in our understanding of basic biology and spawned opportunities for practical applications. In the Biotechnology Facility housed in the Department of Biological Sciences several projects involving functional genomics and biotechnology are currently being conducted. These projects include the investigation of antibiotics, microbial biodiversity, development of protein expression systems and bioactive natural product discovery and development. The Facility offers services for microarray production and analysis, high-throughput PCR and DNA sequencing, advanced imaging, biomolecule purification, analysis and product development. Also available is a flow cytometer equipped for four color fluorescence detection and single cell sorting.
The biotechnology core facility is closely associated with ongoing leading edge research projects on campus. It offers scientists and students alike access to scientific equipment and expertise that facilitates modern biological discoveries.
Microarrays are a method of choice for large scale transcriptional analysis essays and are one of the well established cornerstones of the facility. The facility includes all the necessary equipment for the production, analysis and verification of Microarray Chip experiments. We are able to produce our own microarray chips utilizing a Microgrid spotting robot from Biorobotics that is able to print up to 100 slides per run.
An automated slide processing (ASP, GE Healthcare, former Amersham Biosciences) unit for hybridization, washing and drying of microarray slides for up to to 6 slides simultaneously is available in the facility. This unit minimizes experimental variations between experiments and chips which is essential for batch analysis of microarray assays as all processes take place in a computer controlled environment regarding temperature, sample flow rate, and exposure time.
For data acquisition of microarray slides we offer the use of a high density laser scanner (Axxon Laboratories, Genepix 4200A) with a maximum resolution of 5nm per pixel. The two lasers (532nm and 635nm) are continuously adjustable during the scan process for real time channel optimization. The GenePix software controlling the scanner also allows for real time data evaluation and can be configured for automated workflow modes.
Purification systems are a essential in modern biotechnological research. The facility is equipped with modern HPLC and FPLC chromatography systems and a Pulse-field-electrophoresis chamber.
The facility is equipped with various detection system including a computer controlled fluorescence microscope with digital imaging, an automated plate reader, spectrophotometers and a fluorescence spectrum documentation system.
Equipment for molecular biological research is available in the core facility ranging from gel-documentation, ultra ultracentrifuges and high-throughput PCR cyclers to environmentally controlled incubators.