Increasing capacity to accommodate a Fluorescence Activated Cell Sorting (FACS) machine
Medical Air Technology (MAT) has completed a project at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM) on Merseyside, UK, increasing laboratory capacity to accommodate a new machine for counting and profiling cells.
LSTM was founded in 1898 and is the oldest School in Tropical Medicine in the world, and recognised globally for its groundbreaking research into infectious, debilitating and disabling diseases.
MAT has worked on several Containment Level 3 (CL3) laboratory suites across the UK and was therefore able to guarantee both experience and speed of delivery when approached by LSTM to reconfigure and revalidate its laboratories. Laboratories which handle human pathogens that may be transmitted via inhalation, and which often have a low infectious dose to produce effects that can cause serious or life-threatening disease, need CL3. This level of containment emphasises additional primary and secondary barriers to minimise the release of infectious organisms into the immediate area and the environment, such as HEPA filtration of exhausted laboratory air.
The suite at the LSTM was required to house a new Fluorescence Activated Cell Sorting (FACS) machine. MAT reconfigured and revalidated the existing laboratory to accommodate the machine, carrying out work including new electrical installation, sinks and drainage, a DX cooling system, lab furniture and room fabric improvement. Achieving improved air tightness was particularly important to comply with CL3 restrictions.
FACS is a specialised type of flow cytometry – an analytical cell-biology technique used extensively throughout the life and biomedical sciences.
The FACS machine rapidly separates cells in a suspension, based upon the specific light scattering and fluorescent characteristics of each cell. This allows researchers to profile a large number of cells simply and accurately, collecting data related to many parameters.