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Texas Tech Life Sciences Imaging Facility (LSIF)

OverviewLSIF

The Life Sciences Imaging Facility (LSIF) provides cell analysis and cell sorting services for cancer research in the Texas Tech community. The mission of the LSIF is to (1) promote cancer research and training for cell-based assays at the highest level of quality and rigor; and (2) bring new developments in instrumentation, technique and analysis for preclinical use in the Texas Tech research community. The LSIF enhances the productivity and effectiveness of research by promoting high-content data acquisition, ensuring the highest data quality and consistency, carrying out efficient cell sorting, providing reliable data management, educating and training researchers and consulting in experiment design and evaluation. Major applications of flow cytometry and high throughput fluorescent microscopy services include DNA content analysis for tumor biology, immunological characterization of lymphoma cells, stem and immune cell sorting, isolation of key cell population in tumors, phenotypic cellular analysis during small molecule screening and definition cell signaling cascades for tumor classification.

Services

Cytometers: The LSIF maintains two user-operated cell analyzers and one staff- or user-operated cell sorters, which have high-speed and four-way sorting capability. The available cytometers are:

1.FACSAria SORP Sorter

Microscopy: 4-laser (405, 488, 561, 647) Olympus TIRF (total internal reflection fluorescence) and Hamamatsu Spinning Disc Confocal Box system on an inverted Olympus IX81 microscope with a Piezo stage, FRAP and ablation modules as well as an environmental chamber with CO2. The system includes Photometrics 128 EMCCD, Photometrics 512 EMCCD and Rolera EMC2 cameras. This system allows us to switch between TIRF and spinning disc confocal in microseconds with frame rates up to 1000 frames/sec.

Staff Operators

The LSIF maintains one staff operator. The staff operator runs the cell sorter for researchers who prefer the service or who are not trained to operate equipment themselves. The microscopy workstation is also supported by LSIF staff.

Education, Training and Consultation

The LSIF provides user education and trains researchers to operate analyzers and sorters. Consultation in experiment design, data analysis, data interpretation, etc., is provided as needed, usually by the facility director and faculty advisors.

Operation

This LSIF operates in the Experimental Sciences Building (ESB) and Department of Biological Sciences on the Texas Tech main campus. The LSIF operates from 8 AM to 5PM Monday through Friday.  To schedule within the hours of operation, go to "schedule instruments" in the left navigation pane.  If unique circumstances arise, the operators will be available on weekends.

Procedures

New users are required to register to be eligible to utilize the services offered by the LSIF. A registration form, available for download, is completed and returned to the LSIF. Once a user is registered, scheduling of instrument use and operator support is accomplished through the web-based calendar that operates on a first-come, first-served basis. New users are encouraged to consult with shared resource director and staff in designing experiments. Users are able to operate selected equipment after training has been completed. Training is offered weekly as needed. Use of equipment is tracked based on the login activity of user accounts. Accounts are billed at the end of each month, and detailed charges are sent to lab account administrators.