Why are Blond McIndoe asking for support?
As a charity, maintaining our laboratories and ensuring we have enough day to day consumables to keep our valuable research going is a constant challenge. Moreover, keeping up to date with the latest equipment to ensure that we can undertake world leading research is increasingly expensive as the capabilities and level of sophistication of state-of–the-art instrumentation increases. As such, we are requesting your help by making a contribution to our research and have outlined below a range of equipment and consumables that are essential to our future success in improving the treatment options available to burns, trauma and cancer patients:
1. Incubator microscope:
Until recently, capturing the live movement of cells in real time has always required expensive, cumbersome microscopes with very large incubation chambers. The Lumascope® unit is not only a small and portable microscope, it captures the cell movements both as still images and as short videos that cover hours and days of cell movements. This is all done inside the incubator without disturbing the cells using the microscope and a USB connected laptop that fits outside the incubator.
Total Cost: £14,265
2. Cell culture class II cabinet:
These cabinets allow cells to be manipulated and grown under sterile laboratory conditions with appropriate protection for both the cells and the user and are an essential tool for all the research that we undertake at the Blond McIndoe Research Foundation.
Total Cost: £11,200
3. Glass washing machine:
To allow us to efficiently clean the large amount of glassware our scientists use on a daily basis.
Total Cost: £7,200
4. Biomaterials cooling bath:
When making our skin biomaterials, we often require our reactions to take place at room temperature or slightly higher. There are occasions however where we need to make our materials gel at much cooler temperatures. This specialised type of bath will help our scientists create wound dressings and scaffolds from different polymers in a much more controlled way.
Total Cost: £4,500
5. Safety cabinet for weighing balance:
As part of our daily routine, our scientists have to weigh out chemicals, some of which need weighing with full personal protection equipment (lab coat, gloves, goggles etc) including masks. The powder weighing cabinet allows an extra level of operator protection from particles whilst weighing and handling powders. These cabinets have a very small footprint and excellent all-round vision. To help protect our scientists, this cabinet would have a real impact upon the day to day working environment of the laboratory.
Total Cost: £2,600
6. Tube and blot roller:
In most of the molecular biology or biochemistry labs, these rollers are used for continuous mixing of samples or used to allow better coating of membranes in antibody studies. These are especially useful for long incubations, which can last for hours or overnight.
Total Cost: £1,200
7. The pipette leak testing unit:
Many of our scientists’ day to day experiments require the use of precision pipettes, which are used to dispense liquids. It is very important that the pipettes are properly maintained and calibrated for accuracy. Leakage in pipettes is the most common issue which leads to loss of proper calibration. This unit will help us detect any problems with our pipettes.
Total Cost: £1,000
8. Aspirator pump:
We use aspirator pumps to remove liquid waste generated in our experimental work. When our experiments involve using cells, it is important that these pumps are fully enclosed, to ensure the safety of the researcher. One of our pumps has recently broken and we would like to replace it.
Total Cost: £800
9. Heat block and accessories:
Heat blocks are used to heat small amounts of samples or reagents to controlled temperatures. They are much safer than hot water baths. We have a very reliable heat block, but our insert, which holds small sample tubes, has broken. We are therefore looking to replace it with a new insert, the cost of which is £150.
In addition, we would like to purchase an additional digital heat block, which can be fine-tuned more precisely. This will allow us to perform our experiments in a shorter time, as we can run two heat blocks in parallel on different temperature settings. The cost of a new digital heat block is £550.
Total Cost: £700
The equipment listed above will be used on a daily basis and with regular servicing would be expected to function efficiently for at least the next 5 years. Any contribution made towards these items, however small, is greatly appreciated and will make a valuable contribution to our research to help provide better treatments and outcomes for burns and trauma patients.