ASLAN RESEARCH GROUP
FACILITIES IN THE ASLAN RESEARCH GROUP
The Aslan Research Group (ARG) laboratories occupy a total of 2,900 sq. ft. of laboratory space in the Mitchell Building Rooms 142 (1,500 sq. ft.) and 144 (1,400 sq. ft) These spaces are equipped with a large fume hood, benches, solvent cabinets, upright fridge freezer, gas, air, nitrogen and vacuum lines, desks, computers, and working space for the students. The following are the equipment and research tools available for use and collaboration.
1. Student Mentored in Applied Research Techniques (S.M.A.R.T.) Club
The S.M.A.R.T Club was established in Fall 2017 under the umbrella of student research center (SRC) and it is housed in the Mitchell building RM 142 with 1500 sq.ft equipped with a conference table, display devices (projector, display boards, two ideation discussion boards and many other equipments). The purpose of the S.M.A.R.T. Club is to encourage students to explore the world of STEM by cultivating the knowledge on applied research techniques, supporting involved students via mentorship in proposal/research writing, and guiding students in qualitative research. Subsequently, members will have the opportunity to devise research experiments, and with support and guidance of the mentor and research assistant, submit proposal to potentially earn funding to conduct the investigations. Currently, the S.M.A.R.T Club has a total of 15 members drawn from academically diverse disciplines which include electrical engineering, nursing, biology, chemistry, computer science, medical technology, industrial engineering and computer science. The students engage in various research projects involving development of bio and chemical sensors, generation and storage of energy and spectroscopy research.
Agilent Cary UV-visible spectrophotometer: Utilizes diode array technology to acquire complete spectrum in as little as 0.1 seconds. With a UV-Visible Chemstation integrated with OpenLAB ECM for secure storage for all laboratory data and together with multi-component analysis (MCA) for data analysis. This spectrophotometer displays a spectral range: 200 - 1100 nm.
Agilent Cary 630 FTIR spectrometer: It is fitted with the monolithic design diamond attenuated total reflectance (ATR) accessory, which is can be used for rapid, simple measurement of mineral samples. The FTIR displays the following measurement conditions: spectral range: 4000 - 400 cm-1, number of scans: 32 (approx. 15 secs measurement time), spectral resolution: 4 cm-1, apodisation: Happ-Genzel.
i-Raman portable Raman spectrometer: It is unique for its high resolution combined with field-portability, with performance comparable to large bench-top Raman systems and weighing less than 7 lbs. The system's small footprint, lightweight design, and low power consumption provides research grade Raman capabilities anywhere. Its capabilities include: laser Sources 532 nm and 785 nm, resolution: 3 cm-1, sample state: solid, liquid, gas, spectral range: 15 to 4000 cm-1.
Gamry Interface 1000E potentiostat can undertake electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, for applications such as physical electrochemistry, electrochemical corrosion, battery testing, fuel cell testing, dye solar cell testing, and sensor development. The potentiostat present the following measurents conditions: maximum current: ±1 A, current ranges: 9 (10 nA -1 A), minimum current resolution: 3.3 fA, maximum applied potential: ±12 V, rise time: <1 μs, noise and ripple: <20 μV rms.
Split-test cell is designed for battery analysis research especially for rechargeable material. It can accept various sizes of (5, 10, 12, 15, 19, 20, and 24 mm diameter) electrodes and separators and test the electrodes easily and quickly.
8-Channel Battery Analyzer w/ Cell Holder. The 8-channel Battery Analyzer w/ Cell Holder is an eight-channel battery analyzer to analyze small coin cells and cylindrical batteries from 6.0 mA to 3000 mA, up to 5V. Each channel of the analyzer has independent constant-current and constant-voltage source, which can be programmed and controlled by computer software. This system provides most applications in battery testing fields such as electrode materials research, battery performance test, small-scale battery formation, capability grading, and battery pack testing.
The analyzer is capable to take measurements in the following conditions/ranges: current range: 6.0mA - 3000mA (accuracy: ± (0.05% of reading + 0.1% of range), voltage range: 0.5 - 5V programmable (accuracy: ±(0.05% of reading + 0.1% of range), time interval: 1 - 900s, working modes: constant current discharge, constant current charge, constant voltage charge, constant resistance discharge, rest, cycles, limited threshold conditions: voltage, current, time, capacity, negative voltage slope.
Cytation 5 Cell Imaging Multi-Mode Reader/Fluorescence microscope.
Cytation 5 cell imaging multi-mode reader combines automated digital wide-field microscopy with conventional multi-mode microplate reading in a unique design. The imaging components and multi-mode optical modules are independent and physically separate within the instrument. Cytation 5, can capture rich phenotypic cellular information and well-based quantitative data in a single experiment. Subsequently, Cytation 5, along with Gen5 software, automates the workflow from image capture, processing, and analysis to create publication-ready images and data.
Desktop Phenom XL Scanning electron microscope with Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (EDS): Light optical magnification: 3 - 16x, electron magnification range: 80-100,000x, acceleration voltages: 5 kV, 10 kV, and 15 kV, vacuum modes: low, medium and high vacuum, detector: backscattered secondary detector (BSD) and energy-dispersive detector (EDS), sample size: max. 100 mm x 100 mm (up to 36 x12 pin stubs) and sample height: Max. 65 mm.
5. Surface Chemistry
1. Specialty coating systems spin coater model P6700 for uniform deposition of thin films of photoresists, polyimides, metal-organics, dopants, silica films and most organic and aqueous solutions on a flat surface.
2. The thermal abuse test chamber is an explosive-proof oven with 150°C max. working temperature and 53 L capacity and a built-in vacuum gauge on the front of the oven to monitor chamber pressure. This oven is designed for battery thermal abuse test under IEC62133. Digital temperature controller provides ±2°C accuracy with over-heated alarm and completion alert. It has a regular heating area: 210 mm (8.25") L X 185 mm (7.3") W X 175 mm (6.9") in the center of the chamber, two temperature controller/monitor and two built in KF25 ports (one is on the back of the oven for connecting to vacuum pump and operate the oven at vacuum condition and another port is on the left side of the oven to insert extra-electronic wire or sensor if necessary).
3. Sputter coater EMS 150 R for sputtering non- oxidizing metals (e.g. gold) and carbon coating SEM specimens for EDS with precise thickness deposition range: 1 - 2000 nm realized by the thickness control system. The vacuum chamber has an internal diameter of 150 mm/6" and comes with an integral implosion (safety) guard.
4. Plasma cleaner PDC used to remove all organic substances from surfaces within a vacuum chamber with ionized gases called plasma.
5. MTI Glove box isolation confinement chamber for experiments that require controlled environment and prevention contamination.
6. Industrial sized UV light box for rapid and efficient curation of surfaces. Curation modes available: low, medium and high.
The Aslan Research Group has invented and patented two techniques: Metal-Assisted Microwave-Accelerated Evaporative Crystallization (MAMAEC) and Metal- Assisted Microwave-Accelerated Decrystallization for rapid crystallization and decrystallization of biomolecules, respectively. The MA-MAEC technique has the potential to selectively grow the desired polymorphs of small molecules "on-demand" in a fraction of the time as compared to the conventional evaporative crystallization while MAMAD has shown to be an effective strategy to decrystallize biomolecules hence a potent alternate treatment option for crystal deposition diseases such as gout.
The industrial microwave system is a 2.45 GHz solid state microwave, GAE Variable Attenuator 1.2 kW CPR284 with the ability to be operated at different power levels that range from 100-1200 Watts.
iCrystal microwave system is an instrument built-in house by the Aslan research group comprised of a monomode microwave generator system with variable power up to 100 W and temperature control probes for biomolecule crystallization.
Emblation medical microwave is an 8 GHz solid state microwave with a 0-20 Watt capacity. T
7. Molecular Biology Facilities
Aslan Research Group laboratory undertakes extensive research involving cell culture work and the group has the following facilities to help grow, maintain and study the cell and its activities. They include biosafety cabinet, a digital temperature water bath, CO2 incubator, an inverted microscope, a large-scale refrigerated centrifuge, liquid nitrogen storage, and an automated cell counter.
Subsequently, the ARG has an orbital shaker, sonicator, systems for gel electrophoresis, DNA Thermocycler, and a gel documentation system.
Digital water bath is a digitally controlled unit that maintains temperatures in a range of 32ºC to 80ºC (89.6 ºF to 176 ºF) to soften a variety of wax or compound materials.
Refrigerated centrifuge used for isolation of biomolecules based on their molecular weight.
Temperature CO2 incubator for storage and preservation of animal tissue cell cultures at near body temperature.
Liquid nitrogen storage tank for preservation of cells for cellular and molecular experiments
Automated cell counter for counting cells in cellular and molecular experiments
Systems for gel electrophoresis for the separation of nucleic acids (DNA or RNA) and proteins based on their size
DNA Thermocycler for amplification of DNA and RNA samples by the polymerase chain reaction. The thermocycler raises and lowers the temperature of the samples in a holding block in discrete, pre-programmed steps, allowing for denaturation and reannealing of samples with various reagents
Gel documentation system used to record and measure labeled nucleic acid and protein in various types of media such as agarose, acrylamide or cellulose.
Biosafety laminar hood for provision of aseptic environment for ARG researchers and the biological substance they are working with.
Deionized water systems for delivery of ion-free and neutral pH water and serve as an alternative to distilled water
Light Microscopes for examination of small objects not visible to the naked eye, or in finer detail than the naked eye allows.
Sonicator subjects samples to ultrasonic vibration so as to fragment the cells, macromolecules, membranes and provide homogenous mixing in mixtures.
8. Laboratory Storage Facilities
The storage capacity in ARG laboratory includes chemical storage cabinets that have the capability to store general, corrosives and flammable chemicals, hydrophilic chemicals are stored in provided desiccators and vacuum cabinets. Chemicals and biological materials that require refrigeration at varied temperature are stored in large scale refrigerators and freezers set at 2°C, 4°C, -20°C, -86°C. ARG also have ample space to store excess glassware.