Money raised from the Friends of CROSS charity cycle has contributed to the purchase of some key equipment in the TCD Dept. of Surgery, St. James’s Hospital. This equipment is essential for the ongoing research of the department. Details of the equipment can be found below.
QuantStudio 5 Real-Time PCR System
The QuantStudio 5 Real-Time PCR System is a benchtop instrument that is designed to amplify, detect and quantify DNA. DNA changes are a key feature of cancer and understanding how, why and when these changes occur are crucial elements in our understanding of cancer and other diseases. The QuantStudio 5 allows researchers to analyse DNA changes in human samples, mouse tissue and cells. By gaining an understanding of the genetic changes that occur in disease development, researchers can develop new targeted therapies to treat diseases and improve the lives of patients. The QuantStudio5 machine, house in TTMI, is used solely for the purpose of research and is available to researchers from across TTMI, TCD and St. James’s Hospital.
The H35 Hypoxystation is an instrument that allows researchers control the amount of gas, temperature and humidity in a closed workstation environment. It permits the creation of hypoxic (low oxygen levels) and anoxic (no oxygen) conditions within a controlled and sustained workstation. Hypoxia is a feature of many diseases, most notably cancer. Hypoxia of the tumour is a well-established element of cancer. Accurately replicating the tumour microenvironment ex vivo is a major challenge for researchers. The design of the H35 Hypoxystation allows researchers overcome this challenge by granting researchers the ability to accurately control oxygen, carbon dioxide, temperature and humidity. In TTMI, the H35 Hypoxystation is used for research purposes only and it is available to TTMI, TCD, St. James’s researchers across a diverse range of research areas including cancer, inflammation, infection and autoimmune diseases.
Seahorse XFe24 Analyzer
The Seahorse XFe24 Analyzer measures metabolism of live cells in real-time. The Seahorse machine has the capability of measuring 2 rates of metabolism, oxygen consumption rate (OCR) and extracellular acidification rate (ECAR). These rates are key indicators of mitochondrial respiration and glycolysis and provide a systems-level view of cellular metabolic function in cultured cells and ex vivo human samples. Altered metabolism is a hallmark of many diseases and understanding the role of metabolism in diseases is hugely important. In the Trinity Translational Medicine Institute (TTMI), the Seahorse machine is used exclusively for research purposes and allows researchers to measure the metabolic activity of cells and tissue from a wide range of diseases such as cancer, inflammatory disease and infectious diseases. This allows researchers to gain a better understanding of cell metabolism and whether targeting metabolism may be a novel option for new treatments.
GelCount is an instrument that allows for accurate imaging, counting and characterising of cell colonies. Cell colonies are formed by proliferating cancer cells grown in vitro. Colonies can be adherent, or non-adherent, suspended either in liquid medium or in 3-D semi-solid matrices. The GelCount machine allows researchers to study the effectiveness of specific treatments on cell survival. This machine and accompanying software is particularly useful when examining the effect of a drug or radiation on proliferating cancer cells. GelCount allows the user to go from colony samples to colony counts and additional statistics such as colony size information. Colonies are imaged, images transferred to a computer, processed and characterised for data analysis. GelCount permits greater experimental throughput and reduces human error and bias associated with manual counting. GelCount is used solely for the purpose of research and is available for use to all TTMI, TCD and St. James’s Hospital staff.