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URMC / Labs / Elder Lab / Equipment

Equipment

Dr. Elder has access to the following major equipment in the laboratory and as shared equipment in the Environmental Health Sciences Center (EHSC): TD-20e luminometer and fluorimeter, UV-Vis spectrophotometer (Cary 219), microplate readers, four -80°C freezers, light microscopes, water baths, water bath-contained flow-through macrodialysis system, Millipore ultrapure water purifier, BSL-2 cell culture hoods, desk top and high-speed ultracentrifuges, electrophoresis boxes, PCR thermocycler, and microbalances.

The Inhalation Facility Core of the EHSC has four large rooms that are used for animal exposures of up to 6 hours in duration to particle-containing atmospheres in compartmentalized (one animal per compartment to maximize individual exposures), reinforced polycarbonate chambers. The particle-containing air is entrained into the chambers and directed through an internal baffle to distribute the aerosols. Instrumentation is available for generating aerosols from liquids (ultrasonic nebulizers) or powders (acoustic drum, screw feeders, cyclones, air knives). Equipment for the de novo generation of metal/metal oxide nanoparticle aerosols of varying composition and morphologies (electric spark generators, PALAS GmbH, Karlsruhe, Germany; tube furnaces) is also available in this Facility.

The Facility also houses the Harvard Ultrafine Concentrated Ambient Particle System (HUCAPS), which draws in traffic-related emissions from an adjacent road. The system concentrates ambient ultrafine particles for both animal and human exposures (Gupta et al., 2004) through conduits on either side of the room where the concentrator is housed. Equipment is also available for analyses of particle size distributions (differential mobility analyzers, wide-range particle sizers, MOUDI/nano-MOUDI impactors) as well as mass (TEOM balance) and particle number concentrations in aerosols (condensation particle counters). The air supply for the rooms has a pressure gradient from the clean areas (e.g., animal housing, exposure rooms) to the adjacent main corridor. All rooms are equipped with exhaust vents that provide flexibility with respect to changing them to exposure rooms as needed; several vented hoods are also used to prevent personnel exposures to aerosolized materials. The Analytical Chemistry Core houses atomic emission and absorption spectrometers, as well as wet and dry tissue ashing equipment for the determination of metals content in tissues and other biological samples.