Fueling innovative research through Clemson’s core facilities 

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As a Carnegie R1 research institution, Clemson University promotes a culture of research and innovation. For years, Clemson has provided an environment where faculty researchers and industry experts can collaborate and share ideas through the creation of state-of-the art research facilities that offer a wide range of cutting-edge resources. Clemson’s core facilities offer access to advanced technology, equipment, high-end instrumentation, technical support, and educational services.

The core facilities at Clemson University are shared resources for research and teaching support. Each facility offers a range of equipment and services to the university community and is recognized by Clemson as central to the university’s existence, core mission, and status as a tier-one research institution. There are currently several core facilities that are being used to fuel innovative research. The equipment and resources in these facilities is available to and is being used by Clemson researchers from numerous fields and by industry professionals.

To continue the significant strides made towards improving the research landscape, new equipment has recently been added to three of Clemson’s core facilities.

  • The Electron Microscopy Facility (EMF) has installed state-of-the-art combined X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS) and Auger Electron Spectroscopy (AES) at the multi-user facility located in the Advanced Materials Research Laboratory (AMRL) in Anderson County. The equipment allows scientists to analyze very thin surface layers of materials using methods not previously available at Clemson.
  • The Clemson Light Imaging Facility (CLIF) has acquired a new widefield imaging system. The Leica DMi8 TIRF HP with GSD Super-resolution provides Clemson researchers with a powerful new live cell imaging tool capable of offering traditional widefield imaging in X, Y, Z, and T with multiple channels available for various fluorescent and transmitted light modes.  With the addition of the TIRF (Total Internal ReflectionFluorescence) module, users can now access 4 channels of TIRF imaging with Leica’s uniquely simple one-click calibration, which provides highly repeatable penetration depths relative to the specimen’s refractive index (calibration per sample) without ever having laser light emitted into the room.  With the same four lasers, and Leica’s Laser Scanner, users can also now utilize the CLIF for photo-activation, photoconversion, optogenetics, and more, which may all be integrated into any of the imaging modes on the system.  The system is also capable of 2D GSD (Ground State Depletion) and dSTORM super-resolution. With the high-performance stage and easy-to-use navigational software, users may now stitch large images, image multi-well plates, or image multi-positions within a dish, maximizing the data from every imaging run. 
  • Within the Micro Fabrication Facility, Researchers from the Martinez-Duarte’s Multiscale Manufacturing Laboratory routinely use the cleanroom facilities to effectively fabricate microelectrodes for cell, parasite, and microorganism manipulation using electric fields in a technique called dielectrophoresis. The team fabricates arrays of microelectrodes made of carbon or titanium that are later assembled into lab-on-a-chip devices for the manipulation of bioparticles relevant to healthcare diagnosis and therapeutics. For example, for the isolation of Candida yeast cells to timely identify the pathogen behind candidiasis and enable the treatment with the correct antibiotic. The cleanroom facilities allow for resolution in fabrication, down to fractions of the diameter of a human hair, that is necessary to enable these applications and would be challenging to reach with other traditional manufacturing techniques. Hence, the cleanroom enables advanced manufacturing that is a crucial link in the chain from designing to applying lab-on-a-chip devices for healthcare diagnostics and therapeutics.

To learn more about Clemson’s core facilities, click here.

Division of Research grant supports faculty use of Clemson’s core facilities

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In an effort to encourage use of the resources offered by the core facilities, The Division of Research has established the Clemson Core Incentivized Access (CU-CIA) grant. The CU-CIA grant provides preliminary support and access to researches, at no cost, to Clemson’s core facilities. The grant helps Clemson faculty build research data that can be used to supplement a new grant proposal.

The core facilities are recognized as central to Clemson University’s mission, central existence, and character. The CU-CIA grant supports Clemson’s dedication to research by increasing awareness of the available core facilities and leveraging the services each facility offers. The grant will provide preliminary support to Clemson researchers for use of the core facilities to enhance the likelihood of obtaining extramural funding for new research projects.  

The core facilities included in this grant program are listed below.  

For more information on the Division of Research Clemson Core Incentivized Grant, click here.

Clemson microscopy lab adds new equipment to advance research

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The Electron Microscopy Facility (EMF) at Clemson University is a multi-user service facility that serves both researchers and industry professionals. Located in the Advanced Materials Research Laboratory (AMRL), the EMF provides advance technology and instrumentation that is used for electron/ion microscopy based integrated experimental analysis. The facility has several state-of-the-art microscopes that contribute to Clemson’s leadership in nanotechnology, toxicology, geochemistry, and biological and materials research.

Recently the facility has acquired a state-of-the-art set of x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and auger electron spectroscopy (AES) equipment. XPS is a surface sensitive spectroscopic technique to measure elemental composition. AES is another surface sensitive spectroscopic technique that relies on a physical phenomenon called the Auger effect. In short, the effect works when an atom’s core electron is emitted and an electron from a higher energy level fills its place, causing a release of energy. The capabilities offered by this equipment has proved beneficial for Clemson researchers who are doing research on advanced materials, bio-materials, advanced manufacturing, health care, and digital and information technology. The use of this equipment will directly contribute to ongoing polymer, fiber, and textile research, new catalyst development, biological implants, and biomedical research.

As the only facility in the region with XPS and AES equipment, the Clemson Electron Microscopy Facility provides equipment that allows for unique analysis of materials not found anywhere else in the Southeast. To learn more about the facility and its services, click here.