Trace Metal Facility Core

The Trace Metal Facility Core is located in CP 373.

The principal objective of the Trace Metal Facility Core is to promote collaborative studies on trace metals in the environmental and biological systems by providing a facility for ARCH members at Florida International University and the University of Miami and other collaborators. Specifically, the Facility Core will provide 1) trace metal analysis protocols for Center collaborators; 2) clean area for sample preparation for metal research at trace levels for Center collaborators; and 3) instrumental analysis in the core or coordinates the access to SERC and Chemistry ICP-MS facilities.

The Trace Metal Facility Core is located in CP 373, with sample pretreatment areas in CP 397. The Core includes a new Clean Laboratory with quality grade suitable for trace metal analysis. The clean room is equipped with two clean hoods with HEPA filters, water purification system, and lab furniture. In combination with the Bioinorganic and Environmental Analytical Facility (directed by Dr. Yong Cai as part of his research group), the Core provides access to a wide variety of instrumentation housed in the Core and the Facility. The major instruments include (1) a PerkinElmer ELAN DRCe ICP-MS for analysis of trace metals, (2) a PerkinElmer Series 200 HPLC coupled with UV/Vis detector and/or ICP-MS for metal speciation, (3) a TSP 3000 series HPLC coupled with a PS Analytical AFS for arsenic speciation, (4) a PS Analytical hydride generation AFS (HG-AFS) for total arsenic analysis, (5) a PS Analytical cold vapor AFS (CVAFS) for total mercury analysis, and (6) a GC-AFS system for mercury speciation analysis.

Analytical activities and services in the Core are of high standard and high quality. Mercury analysis (including total and methyl mercury) and analysis of other 20 plus metals in environmental and biological matrices have been accredited by National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (NELAP). In addition to current ongoing analytical services, the Core staff can assist in developing new analytical methods to support the research projects within and outside the university community.

For more information, please contact:

Dr. Yong Cai, 305-348-6210, or Dr. Guangliang Liu, 305-348-6235,

Toxic Algae Culture Core  

Microcystin-LR is available at $350/mg (bulk pricing available)

The Facility Core serves as a support center for research projects currently on-going under the auspices of the ARCH program at FIU and the COHH program at UM. It is the main repository and supplier of microorganism cultures, purified toxins, DNA and RNA, labeled toxins and antibodies for a variety of investigators. In addition, it supplies access to a wide range of equipment, training and a number of services related to marine toxin research.

The Facility Core completed major renovations in 2003. The Core has moved to a new laboratory (OE316). This space was remodeled to provide 200 sq. ft. of floor space dedicated to cultures. High density shelving increased shelf space to 200 sq. ft., and we estimate our capacity will be 2000L. The renovations included backup temperature control, programmable lighting and air ports for each of ten shelves. An adjacent 100 sq. ft. lab is used for media preparation, and 600 sq. ft. of general laboratory space houses the core instrumentation and is used for cell harvesting, DNA/ RNA and toxin isolation.

Equipment available to ARCH participants:

BioTek Synergy 2 UV/Vis, fluorescence and luminescence plate reader
FastPrep DNA machine
ThermoFinnigan HPLC with UV and fluorescence detectors
MJ Opticon Thermal Cycler
Zeiss Axiovert Microscope
Biotage Sp1 automated flash chromatography system
Labscale and Large scale Tangential Flow Filtration system.
Products and Services available:
These products and services are also available to researchers outside of the ARCH and COHH programs. Please call for a price schedule.
Purified toxins (microcystins, okadaic acid)
Toxin extraction & purification
ELISA for okadaic acid and brevetoxin
Protein phosphatase inhibition assays for okadaic acid and microcystins
DNA/RNA extraction

For more information, contact:

Daisy Tirado
305 348-6837
Dr. Kathleen Rein


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