BioImaging and Spectroscopy Core Facility

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BioImaging and Spectroscopy Core Facility (BISCF) was established in September 2018 as a result of the integration of instrumentation and methodological bases of three laboratories at two Skoltech research centers: the plasmonics laboratory (established in 2016, headed by Prof. Drachev V.P.) and the biophotonics laboratory (established in 2017, headed by Prof. Gorin D.A.) of the center of photonics and quantum materials (CPQM), as well as RNA delivery laboratory (established in 2016, headed by Prof. Zatsepin T.S.) of the center of life sciences (CLS). Laboratory staff are highly qualified specialists with experience in leading research centers abroad.

Over the past few decades, the role of photonics has increased not only in IT, so the application of photonic methods in biology and medicine in solving various problems is growing avalanche-like. Miniature integrated optoelectronic sensors connected to information networks are capable of making a revolution in biology and healthcare. The development of personalized medicine will lead to an increase in the diagnostics and treatment quality and make possible the concept of preventive medicine. The establishment of BISCF is aimed at developing new complex systems, including rapid diagnostics and continuous monitoring of the body state at three levels – cellular, tissue, and systemic.

The main task of BISCF is to use modern methods of visualization and spectroscopy to solve interdisciplinary problems arising at the interface of materials science, photonics, electronics and biomedicine in the interests of Skoltech, Skolkovo ecosystem participants, as well as external customers.

The Facility is equipped with modern equipment that allows solving visualization and spectroscopy problems at three levels: nano, micro and macroscopic. Dynamic light scattering to determine the size and electrokinetic potential, super high resolution microscopy (STED – Stimulated Emission Depletion, FLIM – Fluorescence Life-time Imaging Microscopy) are effective methods at the subcellular level. For studies at the cellular level, BISCF offers fluorescence flow cytometry, confocal fluorescence microscopy for long-term cell culture measurements, spectroscopy and Raman microscopy (Raman spectroscopy with confocal resolution). Projects at the macro level, i.e. the level of tissues and the organism as a whole, will be supported by tools for optoacoustic scanning microscopy, fluorescence tomography combined with X-ray tomography. Part of the equipment at BISCF is unique for Russia, and the combination of several modern techniques and equipment in this Facility makes it unique at the world level.

It is also intended to use the equipment of the Facility to ensure the educational process in Skoltech, primarily for the performance of qualifying works, including Master’s and PhD theses. The Facility will carry out laboratory classes as part of training courses at Skoltech, such as biomedical applications of photonics, physics of colloids and phase boundaries, nanooptics, solid state physics, instrumental methods of molecular biology, RNA biology, etc.

Head of BISCF – DSc Dmitry A. Gorin

Employees:

Olga I. Gusliakova – engineer

Services:

  1. measurement of nanoparticle size; measurement of the zeta potential of colloids and nanoparticles; measurement of the absolute molecular weight of macromolecules (Zetasizer Nano ZS);
  2. imaging of submicron and micron particles containing fluorophores (STED), measuring the fluorescence lifetime (FLIM);
  3. cell proliferation analysis, T cell subset analysis, optimal resolution for low expressed antigens, low expressed antigens and low abundance cell types are pushing the boundaries of flow cytometry. The CytoFLEX Flow Cytometer has the sensitivity and resolution capabilities to identify populations with these characteristics, Microparticle Detection. The CytoFLEX Flow Cytometer has the resolution to detect particles down to 200 nm while also collecting information in the fluorescent channels (Flow cytometer CYTOFLEX);
  4. definition of a wide range of phenomena at the cellular level: apoptosis, cell cycle, cell differentiation, cell migration, cell proliferation, cell shape changes, cytoskeletal rearrangement, cytotoxicity, fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), lipid droplet analysis, neurite outgrowth, protein expression, receptor activation, RNAi screening, signaling pathway analysis, transcription factor (Operetta High Content Imaging System);
  5. analysis of the sample chemical composition (LabRam), optical and geometric characteristics of coatings (thickness, refractive indices) (SENresearch 4.0; Optical Spectrum Analyzer);
  6. obtaining phantoms images of biological tissues using fluorescent and X-ray microscopy (IVIS Spectrum CT), as well as optoacoustic mesoscopy (RSOM)
  7. measurement of the absorption spectra in the ultraviolet, visible and infrared ranges (FluoroMax 4; Agilent Carry). Determination of the chromophores concentration spectrofluorometrically.

At the moment, conducting all cellular experiments is possible only on fixed cultures. Complete package of in vitro studies will be possible from August 2019.

Conducting in vivo studies will be possible after the relocation of the Facility to Skoltech New Campus.

For all questions related to ordering services and cooperation, please write to  

Current projects:

Internal (Skoltech customers):

  1. An Interface of Physics and Life Sciences for Cancer Diagnostics (short title: Platform for Detection of Human Health Markers at Point-of-Care) (2018-2019, PI from Facility – Dmitry Gorin);

 

External (non-Skoltech customers):

  1. The development of multifunctional particles for targeted stimuli-responsive therapy and diagnostics of prostate cancer (2018-2020, PI from Facility – Dmitry Gorin), RFBS ;
  2. The mechanisms of the neural response organization in the brain of primates, rodents and invertebrates (2016-2018, renewal, PI from Center for Neurobiology and Brain Restoration – Philipp E. Khaitovich), RSF;
  3. “Carrier cocktail” for targeted delivery and release of biologically active substances at certain period of time (2018-2019, PI from Biophotonics Lab – Maria Novoselova), RSF.

 

Documents:

  1. Order on establishment of the BioImaging and Spectroscopy Core Facility
  2. List of equipment
  3. Services and tariffs
  4. Draft of the contract for providing services