At the Mechanobiology Institute, we’ve created leading-edge core and support facilities to enable novel and innovative research in mechanobiology. Equipment, staff and services are provided to support and overcome the experimental and computational challenges that our principal investigators, researchers and students may face.
MBI is committed to developing better ways to bring together the multi-disciplinary expertise that is needed to understand the systems biology of mechanical functions. In approaching integrated functions such as biomechanics, a single lab often does not have the resources to study all of the relevant parameters; however, innovation and insights will continue to be driven most rapidly by single investigators in a collaborative environment.
MBI’s Microscopy Core is the largest of MBI’s core facilities, serving as the backbone for most of the experimental work at the Institute. The Core supports image related research, offering a wide range of microscopes and image analysis resources.
The Microscopy Core currently has three full-time staff providing training and consultation to MBI and NUS researchers. Internal staff may learn more about the Core, including calendaring and booking, a complete workshop schedule, user policy and safety, and equipment overview and more.
Nano and Microfabrication Core
The Nano and Microfabrication Core helps with the design and fabrication of innovative devices to further our biological understanding of the cell.
MBI’s Microfabrication Core was formed to support the microfabrication needs of MBI PIs, collaborators, research fellows and graduate students through direct fabrication or recommendation of suitable solutions. Their process starts with a discussion with PIs or students about their design. They help them draw the lay-out of the photo-mask (when applicable) using AutoCAD/L-edit software, and according to the fabrication process requested they write or outsource the mask, and use it for photo-lithography.
The MBI laboratories design is based on the bold concept of an ‘open laboratory’. There are no walls or partitions separating one principal investigator’s group from another and benches are communal, as are the core facilities and common shared equipment such as autoclaves, deep freezers, centrifuges and other common bench-top equipment.
Our labs cover protein expression, microscopy, computation, nanofabrication, cell culture and other essential services to better serve the Institute members. They provide equipment, staff and service to support and overcome the experimental and computational challenges that MBI’s principal investigators, researchers and students may face.
The Mechanobiology Institute employs imaging technology to acquire biological data sets as a core component of their research. A single image data set may be several TB in size and is often acquired as individual files resulting in many thousands of files per experiment that must be stored, processed, analyzed and visualized. Mechanobiology will house multiple microscopes that can each generate large continuous streams of new data. Thus a fast, efficient and reliable network, storage and computational infrastructure is critical to support our research activities. Having a local data centre to house this computational equipment is the only way to provide the services and support for Mechanobiology.
MBI’s computational core facility was created to store, process, analyze and visualize experimental data and images as well as large scale computer modeling of cell processing and data mining of complex biological processes.
Protein Cloning and Expression Core
The purification and expression of proteins enable cutting-edge molecular and cellular research here at the Mechanobiology Institute. The Protein Cloning and Expression Core provides fast, efficient cloning and expression services to researchers at MBI and NUS.
Managed by four full-time research staff, the Core provides high-quality, purified recombinant proteins from different host systems (E.coli, yeast, insect and mammalian) and custom-made expression vectors with selective markers. The final products are characterized by their purity, promoting and assuring accuracy for quality research. The Core also provides consultation services and training for new staff inexperienced in molecular biology and protein purification protocols.
Science Communications Core
The effective communication of scientific discovery is a crucial aspect of any research. It can inspire new ideas and hypothesis, which in turn can lead to new discoveries and technologies. It can educate the next generation of scientists, foster collaboration and innovation through sharing of ideas across disciplines, and equip the public to make informed decisions.
The Science Communications Unit at MBI works towards enhancing awareness of progress made in the field of mechanobiology to the general public, science enthusiasts, young students and scientists working in alternative fields. This is achieved by promoting the latest findings in our own research, and in the field in general, through the media, the production of online educational resources, and outreach events.