Laboratory for Synthetic-Biologic Interactions

The Laboratory for Synthetic-Biologic Interactions (LSBI) is a research facility housed in the Department of Chemistry. The LSBI is designed to be a multi-user laboratory supporting major research initiatives within the Chemistry Department, the university and extending to the broader academic and industrial scientific communities. Fifteen instruments are currently available on a fee-for-use basis, and others may be made available on a case-by-case considerations.

Biolin Attention Tensiometer

The biolin attention tensiometer allows for all modes of surface tension measurements and is equipped with a high speed camera, auto calculation tools and auto-pipette. Typical operating modes include surface contact angle, advancing contact angle, pendant drop and inverted drop configurations.

Environmental Dynamic Mechanical Analysis

Mettler Toledo DMA 1 system is a 10N maximum environmental DMA capable of both strain and stress controlled sinusoidal loading. Conventional thermal-mechanical DMA and static mechanical testing can be done in atmospheric conditions from 25 to 600 degrees C. Submersion testing can be performed in a variety of solvent systems with bath controlled heating and cooling from -5 to 80 degrees C. Crash cooling liquid nitrogen allows the system to perform testing down to -190 degrees C.


The ATS Rheosystems Black Pearl viscometer allows for peltier heating and cooling from 1 to 90 degrees C in bob-and-cup, cone-and-plate and parallel plate configurations.

Quartz Crystal Microbalance with Dispersion

The Biolin q-Sense QCM-D system provides detailed settlement information for applications like protein adhesion, adsorption and film growth applications. The dispersion functionality allows for mechanical assessment of systems which are responding dynamically.

Portable Raman Spectrometer

The B&W Tek i-Raman system, operating at 785 nm, allows for the direct measurement of Raman spectra for bulk solids, microsamples and solution. In addition to cuvette based measurements, the system can be ported into a hood to track in situ kinetics directly through glassware. Raman shift spectral range is from 200 to 3300 cm-1.

Infrared Spectroscopy

The Shimadzu IR Prestige attenuated total reflectance fourier transform infrared (ATR-FTIR) spectrometer collects IR spectra from 600 to 4000 cm-1. The system can be used for liquid, powder and bulk sample analysis. This system includes an attached scanning AIM 8800 IR microscope.

Infrared Spectral Microscopy

The Bruker LUMOS-II micro-FTIR system provides the ability to obtain spatially-resolved, high-quality FTIR spectra on small specimens in transmission, reflectance, and ATR modes. TE-MCT detector allows for liquid-nitrogen free spot measurement and mapping. Liquid-nitrogen cooled FPA detector provides the means for rapid FTIR imaging. Runs on Bruker’s OPUS software.

Multi-mode Microplate Reader with Cuvette Port

The Molecular Devices SpectraMax M5 is capable of performing high throughput spectroscopy of microplate arrayed samples. This system has full spectral UV-Vis and fluorescence intensity capabilities as well as time-resolved fluorescence, fluorescence anisotropy and luminescence functionality.

Fluorescence Spectrometer with Auto Polarizers

The Horiba FluoroMax 4P fluorometer allows emission and excitation spectra from 250-850 nm. The auto polarizers make it a routine instrument for fluorescence anisotropy measurements and kinetic studies where dye binding processes take place. Operating on top of Origin brand software, data fitting and export options are fairly comprehensive.

Fluorescence Lifetime Spectrometer

The PicoQuant FluoTime 100 time correlated single photon counting (TCSPC) system has excitation options from 390 to 640 nm using a combination of pulsed diode sources (pulses ~90 ps) and nanosecond LEDs (pulse ~350 ps). The operating frequencies are 40, 20, 10, 5 and 2.5 MHz, allowing decay windows of 25, 50, 100, 200 and 400 ns respectively. Collection is filter based and can be customized to collect from 420 to 800+ nm. Additionally, the system is outfitted with emission and excitation polarizers, allowing for emission anisotropy decay measurements.

Zetasizer Nano ZS DLS

The Malvern Zetasizer Nano ZS uses photon correlation spectroscopy (PCS), which determines particle size by measuring the rate of fluctuations in laser light intensity scattered by particles as they diffuse through a fluid, for size analysis measurements and electrophoretic light scattering (ELS), which determines electrophoretic movement of charged particles under an applied electric field from the Doppler shift of scattered light, for zeta potential determination.

Shimadzu UV-2550 UV-Vis Spectrophotometer

The Shimadzu UV-2550, with it’s double-blazed grating, double monochomator design, provides a high-energy throughput optical system with ultra-low stray light. While featuring low stray light, excellent energy characteristics are provided over an extremely wide wavelength range (200 – 1100 nm), from the ultraviolet to visible, and into the near infrared for both liquid and solid samples.

Full Spectral Confocal Microscope with Fluorescence Lifetime and Anisotropy Imaging

The Olympus FV 1000 confocal platform allows for full spectral imaging with a variety of excitation options: 405 nm, 454 nm, 488 nm, 515 nm, 543 nm and 635 nm. Single pass three channel imaging is routine on this system, with two of the detectors being monochromator based and one being filter based. Both 405 nm and 640 nm pulsed laser sources allow for fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy (FLIM) on the FV 1000 platform using a PicoQuant TCSPC FLIM add-on. Two detectors allow for two color FLIM or for anisotropy decay imaging (A-FLIM).

Wide Field Optical Microscope

The Olympus IX-70 inverted fluorescence microscope, with a cooled high-sensitivity CCD, is outfitted to provide transmission, bright field, phase contrast, polarization contrast and fluorescence imaging from excitations of 350 to 650 nm and collection from 380 to 700 nm. With the system we have a library of filter and dichroic mirror optics for the generation of customized filter cubes for almost any combination of wavelength needs.

Bruker Xtreme Optical and X-ray small animal imaging system

The Xtreme system combines high-sensitivity optical and radiographic molecular imaging (Biolumenescence and Fluorescence) with high-resolution digital X-ray to deliver precise anatomical localization of molecular and cellular biomarkers in vivo. Magnified X-ray capabilities allow for X-ray imaging of small species such as zebrafish with high resolution and contrast. Software automation simplifies complex multimodal imaging protocols. The system includes animal handling features such as a heated sample shelf, a gas anesthesia system and a MARS 360-degree animal rotation system.