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Bioengineering Laboratory

The Bioengineering Laboratory consists of three main suites for tissue testing, cell culture and microscopy.

Tissue Testing Suite

The Tissue Testing suite in the Bioengineering Laboratory is temperature and humidity controlled, which renders it suitable for controlled preparation of samples of sensitive materials such as acrylic bone cement and animal tissue. It is equipped with a -20°C cold store for specimen storage. It currently houses a Bose ElectroForce 3200 electrical materials testing machine of 450N capacity (with 250N and 25N load cells currently available) which is particularly suited to testing biological materials. The low-force capability and high frequency response of the hardware and the available software mean that visco-elastic characterisation of low-stiffness biological materials and biomaterials is possible. The laboratory also houses the Bioengineering Science group's Instron 8870 multiaxial servo-hydraulic materials testing machine, which provides axial and torsional testing capabilities with capacities of +/- 25 kN and +/- 100 Nm respectively, together with an actuator of +/- 1 kN capacity that can be configured to provide additional linear displacement/loading of test specimens. Complementary non-destructive analysis techniques include a VIC 3D digital image correlation system for surface strain measurement and a 10 channel acoustic emission system for damage monitoring. A Vishay 7000 Series data logger and Strainsmart software, allowing 32 channel strain gauge, 8 channel thermocouple and 8 channel analogue recording, is also available for experimental testing.  

Cell Culture Suite

The cell culture suite has access to centrifuges, a plate reader (measuring real time development of biofilms), a microtome (for thin sectioning of biological tissue), a purified water system and incubators with controlled CO2 and humidity capability.

Microscopy Suite

The microscopy suite includes a range of optical microscopes and an image analysis system for flow cell studies, an epifluorescent microscope and an atomic force microscope with a nano-hardness stage.

The laboratory also houses an autoclave and a facility for the design and fabrication of microfluidic and lab-on-chip devices with micro milling, wet-etching/photolithography, and casting. A wide range of materials are used including soft polymers, hard polymers, ceramics and metals. Micro sensors, acoustic transducers and  other detection components can be integrated into the microsystems.

The multi-axial instron
A micro-vascular model developed in house
A micro-vascular model

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