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NIC EQUIPMENT AND FACILITIES

The NIC hosts a number of word class facilities for, not only the synthesis of nanomaterials, but its characterisation and use in the development of lateral flow devices, electrochemical sensors and water purification systems.

FACILITIES

NANOTECHNOLOGY GENERAL SYNTHESIS LAB

The general synthesis  lab con-tains and houses all the neces-sary   equipment  for nanopar-ticle     synthesis     and     basic characterisation.

SENSORS LAB


The  sensors   lab   houses  the equipment    needed    for    the development and miniaturisa-tion   of  electrochemical   sen-sors.

BIOLABELS DEVELOPMENT
LAB

As  support  to  the  production facility  housed in  the ISO level 5 cleanroom,  the developmen-tal lab houses smaller versions of the  production  scale equip-ment for POC development.

TISSUE CULTURE 
LAB

The tissue  culture  lab houses the NicTox™ facility and main-tains a sterile environment for cellular   growth  and   toxicity testing.

PEPTIDE SYNTHESIS
LAB

The  peptide  synthesis   lab  is home     to     the    MinPeptide™ facility  and  houses  the  Sym-phony peptide synthesiser for peptide and peptoid synthesis.

WATER LAB

The water lab contains all the necessary equipment  for  the  production  of  filtra-tion   membranes  and   absorbents  and the  equipment needed  to test  their effi-cacy toward water purification.

ISO LEVEL 3 
CLEANROOM

The Mintek ISO 3 cleanroom is a clean-est environment of the cleanroom and is designed to combine “top down” and “bottom up” approaches to construct novel electronic and microfluidic devices with micro and nanoscale sizes and to understand their behaviour including quantum phenomena.

ISO LEVEL 5
CLEANROOM

The ISO 5 and BSL 3 cleanroom facility is designed  to  develop  and   manufacture high quality, point-of-care rapid diagnos-tic  devices (such as the  lateral flow  and biosensor  devices)  for  the  detection  of human  and  animal  diseases,  as well as the containment of biological reagents.

CHARACTERISATION 
LAB

The characterisation lab houses the HRSEM, TEM and AFM needed for the detailed characterisation of nanoma-terials.

Please contact us for a facility tour

EQUIPMENT

Characterisation

A wide range of characterisation equipment is available within the NIC facilities.  All of the equipment is available for testing.  Please contact us for more information.

HIGH RESOLUTION SCANNING ELECTRON MICROSCOPY (HRSEM)

The    FEI     Nova   Nano-SEM   200   Field Emission HRSEM enables both high and very    low   kV    imaging   and   analytical capabilities  of  specimens  in  and  below lens  configurations.   It is equipped  with an  Everhardt  Thornley  Detector   (EDT), backscattered electron  detector (BSED), through-the-lens detector (TLD) for high resolution imaging  and a X-ray spectro-meter (EDXS) for X-ray analysis.

TRANSMISSION ELECTRON MICROSCOPY (TEM)

The   NIC  has  a  JEOL JEM-2100F,  Field Emission   Gun    (200kV),   Transmission Electron Microscope (FEG-TEM) capable of    providing    high   spatial    resolution, atomic   imaging  and   micro- and  nano-structure analysis of materials.

ATOMIC FORCE MICROSCOPY (AFM)

The   NIC  owns   both  a  Nanoscope and Enviroscope   multimode   Atomic   Force Microscope.   The multi-mode  AFMs use both contact and tapping modes to ana-lyse   samples,   with   nanometer    range resolution. The samples can be analysed under  high  vacuum  and  various  condi-tions,   like   temperature  can   be  altered whilst the analysis is performed.

PREP-HIGH PRESSURE LIQUID CHROMATOGRAPHY (HPLC)

It   is   used    to   separate,    identify   and quantify   components  in   a  mixture.   It relies  on  pumps  to  pass a  pressurised solvent,  containing  the  sample mixture, through   a  column   filled   with   a   solid adsorbent material.  Each component in the  sample interacts  slightly  differently with  the adsorbent  material,  leading to the separation of the components.

NIR/UV-Vis SPECTROSCOPY


A  spectrophotometer  is  an   instrument which measures the  reflection or absor-bance characteristics of a sample.  Here the  absorbance can  be captured  in the ultraviolet,     visible    and    near-infrared wavelength ranges (300 - 3200 nm). 

DIFFERENTIAL SCANNING CALORIMETER (DSC)

A thermo-analytical  technique,  in  which the  difference  in  the amount of heat re-quired  to increase  the temperature  of a sample  and reference,  is measured as a function  of temperature.  This particular instrument  has a temperature  range of (-140°C - 600°C).

PERKIN ELMER 400R RAMAN SPECTROMETER

It is a vibrational  technique for identifi-cation  and  analysis of molecular  spe-cies. The science is based on the detec-tion  and  processing  of  the  scattered radiation  produced   from  a   molecule when it is  irradiated with  a monochro-matic laser light.

KEITHLEY SEMICONDUCTOR CHARACTERISATION SYSTEM (SCS)

It  is a  modular,  fully  integrated,  para-meter analyzer that performs electrical characterization of materials, semicon-ductor devices and processes.

UV-VIS SPECTROSCOPY

Basic spectroscopic absorption done in the visible and ultraviolet ranges (300 - 765 nm). A sample is irradiated and the absorption of the light recorded as a function of the wavelength.

SRS QCM200 QUARTZ CRYSTAL MICROBALANCE

It measures mass and viscosity in processes occurring at or near surfaces, or within thin films. The instrument reads the resonant frequency and resistance of a 5 MHz, AT-cut quartz crystal. The resonant frequency changes as a linear function of the mass of material deposited on the crystal surface. The resistance at resonance chan-ges with the viscosity / elasticity of the material (film or liquid) in contact with the crystal surface.

MALVERN ZETA SIZER

The Zetasizer  Nano Z system  is  dedicated  to  the  mea-surement  of zeta  potential  and electrophoretic mobility of   colloids   and   nanoparticles,   in  aqueous   and  non-aqueous dispersions, using Laser Doppler Micro-Electro-phoresis.

EQUIPMENT

Analysis

The NIC has some equipment for the analytical investigation of water samples, electrodes and the performance of modified membranes.  Please contact us for more information.

SHIMADZU
TOC-VCPH/CPN

The TOC analyser adopts the 680°C combustion catalytic oxidation method, developed by Shimadzu. While providing an ultra-wide range of 4 μg/L to 30 000 mg/L, these analysers boast a detection limit of 4 μg/L through coordination with NDIR.

AUTOLAB PGSTAT302N POTENTIOSTAT

This high end, high current potentiostat /galvanostat, with a compliance voltage of 30 V and a bandwidth of 1 MHz, combined with our FRA32M module, is specially designed for electrochemical impedance spectroscopy.

CROSS-FLOW MEMBRANE TESTING RIG

A feed solution passes to the filter membrane in the cross-flow membrane cells. Molecules or materials which are smaller than the cross-flow membrane's molecular weight cut-off (MWCO) or porosity pass through the membrane as permeate.

DEAD-END MEMBRANE TESTING RIG

A feed solution passes through the filter membrane directly, with pressure applied from above.  Molecules or materials that are smaller than the membrane pore size pass through the membrane.

EQUIPMENT

Synthesis and testing

A variety of instrumentation is available for the basic synthesis and investigation of nanomaterials, including, but not limited to, hotplate stirrers, pH meters, ovens, vortexes, ultrasonic baths, centrifuges, shakers exc.  In addition to the basic equipment, some speciality synthesis, development and testing equipment is profiled below.

SYMPHONY PEPTIDE SYNTHESIZER

The Symphony® is a 12-channel peptide synthesizer, with production from 0.005 - 7.5mmol.  It is versatile, has fast multi-plex operation, with low coupling cost, variable synthetic scales, automated cleavage and customisable protocols.

FREEZE DRYER

Freeze-drying is a dehydration process, typically used to preserve a perishable material or make the material more convenient for transport. Freeze-drying works by freezing the material and then reducing the surrounding pressure to allow the frozen water in the material to sublimate directly from the solid phase to the gas phase.

xCELLigence RTCA MP SYSTEM

The xCELLigence Real Time Cell Analysis  MultiPlate instrument uses non-invasive electrical impedance monitoring to quantify cell proliferation, morphology change and attachment quality in a label-free, real-time manner.

BIODOT SYSTEM FOR POC DEVELOPMENT

A variety of Biodot equipment is available for the basic development of Lateral Flow Point of Care (LFPOC) devices.  The setup includes a Frontline HR™, BioJet HR™ and AirJet HR™.

EQUIPMENT

Production and development

From research to development, these instruments produce the nano-enabled products.  The products range from nanoparticles to membranes to screen printed electrodes to later flow point of care kits.

PHYSICAL VAPOUR DEPOSITION (PVD)

PVD uses a physical process (under vacuum), such as heating or sputtering, to produce a material vapour, which is then deposited on an object that requires a coating.

NEU NANOFIBER ELECTROSPINNER

The NEU Nanofibre Electrospinning Unit uses electrospinning techniques to safely and easily produce nanofibers with diameters of 50 to 800 nm.

GARDCO DRAWDOWN MACHINE

The Gardco Automatic Drawdown Machine was designed to draw down membranes with a high degree of reproducibility.

SPIN COATER

Spin coating is a procedure used to deposit uniform thin films to flat substrates. The substrate is rotated at high speed in order to spread the coating material by centrifugal force.

DEK 248 CE SCREEN PRINTER

Used for the production of Screen Printed Electrodes (SPE's).  The screen printer is supported by DEK printing technology, with camera alignment, for exact XY positioning and consistent results.

BIODOT AUTOMATED DISPENSER (RR4510)

The RR120 is a modular, in-line processing system that includes, web feed, dispensing with web tracking, vision inspection/bad part marking, impregnation, drying and take-up in a controlled humidity environment. The system provides processing of webs from 5-120 mm widths.

BIODOT AUTOMATED LAMINATOR (LM6000)

The LM6000 Continuous Laminating System is a modular design to accommodate various numbers and types of materials. Each material is fed, from adjustable spindles, through guides and under a pressure capstan roller, to assure complete adhesion to the plastic support backing.

BIODOT GUILOTINE CUTTER (CM4000)

The CM4000 Guillotine Cutter is a robust, fully automatic workstation that provides high quality precision cuts. Blades are made from hardened steel and specially coated to improve ejection of cut strips and reduce glue build up.

HEAT SEALING MACHINE

Used in the final stages of packaging, the heat sealer ensures a sterile environment within the storage pouch, extending the produced devices' shelf life.

Please contact us for more information