Past Awards: 2017

Research Infrastructure Investment Program: 2017 Awards

The following are brief descriptions of the projects selected for Research Infrastructure Investment Program awards in 2017. These awards are designed to facilitate interdisciplinary partnerships and strengthen the University’s research infrastructure. One-to-one matching funds from the collaborating colleges, institutes and/or centers were required for funding eligibility.

Acquisition of a Mössbauer Spectrometer

Bruce Moskowitz, Department of CSEND Earth Sciences, College of Science and Engineering
Matching funds: Bruce Moskowitz, Marc Hirschmann, Earth Sciences, Science and Engineering

Funding supports the acquisition of new 57Fe Mössbauer Spectrometer to complement theexisting but aging spectrometer in the Institute for Rock Magnetism (Department of Earth Sciences). Mössbauer spectroscopy provides important information about the magnetic ordering structure, nanomagnetism, oxidation state, and local site symmetry and coordination of Fe ions in iron-bearing natural, biological, and synthetic materials. The new system will provide two major improvements: (1) It will allow a more favorable source-detector geometry, significantly decreasing the time to collect spectra and affording faster sample throughput; and (2) The reduced measurement time and an improved design for the liquid helium dewar will significantly reduce the amount of liquid He (a non-renewable resource) used during low-temperature scanning, and reduce cost.

Core Facility for Stem Cell Reprogramming and Translation at the UMN Stem Cell Institute

James Dutton, GCD MS Stem Cell Institute, Medical School
Matching funds: James Dutton, Jakub Tolar, Angela Panoskaltsis-Mortari, Brenda Ogle, Rita Perlingeiro, Nobuski Kikyo, Timothy O'Brien, Wei-Sou u, Bruce Walcheck, Robert Tranquillo, Wei Shen, Paolo Provenzano, Biomedical Engineering, Ann Parr, Walter Low

We are beginning to see the practice of medicine being changed by the clinical application of cells derived from pluripotent stem cells, the use of adult stem cells, gene edited stem cell-derived products and the potential for clinical cell reprogramming. To maintain a leading position in this field of regenerative medicine there is now a critical need to expand infrastructure supporting the clinical translation of stem cell related treatments at the University of Minnesota.

Establishment of University of Minnesota Crookston Center for Collaborative Research (UMC-CCR)

Venugopal Mukku, Math, Science and Technology Department, UMC Math, Science, Technology
Matching Funds: Crookston Chancellor

Funding supports the establishment of a Center for Collaborative Research (CCR) at the University of Minnesota Crookston (UMC). This will be the first centralized, self-contained facility capable of supporting much of the lab research needs of scientists in the Agricultural and Natural Resources (ANR) Department, the Math, Science and Technology (MST) Department and the Northwest Research and Outreach Center (NWROC).

FACSCelesta Flow Cytometer Upgrade – St. Paul Campus

Bruce Walcheck, Veterinary Biomedical Science, College of Veterinary Medicine
Matching funds: Bruce Walcheck, Veterinary Medicine

Funding supports the replacement of the 11-year old FACSCanto flow cytometer located in the College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) Shared Resources Facility for Cellular and Protein Analysis on the St. Paul Campus Funds will be used to purchase a Becton Dickinson FACSCelesta. The Celesta (3 lasers, 12 fluorescent probes and 14 parameters) will expand the analytic capacity of the current Canto (2 lasers, 6 fluorescent probes, and 8 parameters). While flow cytometry is available on the East Bank, there are significant scheduling, sample stability, and IBC compliance barriers that limit sample transport and require local analysis.

A High-resolution Quantitative Mass Spectrometry system for Collaborative Metabolomics Research

Chi Chen, Department of Food Science and Nutrition, College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences
Matching funds: Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences, Animal Science, Bioproduct and Biosystems Engineering, Veterinary Diagnostic Lab, AHC, Kinesiology, Biotechnology Institute, Medicine

Funding supports the acquisition of a high-resolution quantitative liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) system for collaborative metabolomics and lipidomics research.Besides untargeted metabolomic analysis on the metabolites differing in mass and LC retention, the ion mobility spectrometry (IMS) in this system will be able to distinguish the isobaric and isomeric metabolites with comparable LC retention, which commonly occur in lipidomic analysis as well as in the analysis of carbohydrate and peptide metabolites. The high-resolution separation and sensitive quantitation of this system will greatly improve the capacity of metabolomic analysis in the Laboratory of Nutritional Metabolomics, and benefit many collaborative research projects.

HumanFIRST Laboratory Driving Simulator Renovation

Max Donath, CSENG Mechanical Engineering Administration, College of Science and Engineering
Matching funds: Science and Engineering

Funds will update components of both the HumanFIRST immersive driving simulator and portable simulator. The immersive simulator comprises a 2002 Saturn full-vehicle cab featuring haptic feedback through vehicle vibration and a three-axis limited-range motion system. The environment is projected on a five-channel, 210-degree forward visual field screen with rear views provided by a rear screen and side-mirror mounted LCD panels. When installed, the immersive simulator was among the best in the country. This project will update the simulators’ computer, projector systems, and immersive simulator vehicle chassis to re-engage Minnesota as a national leader in driving behavior research. Upgrades will support research examining new Human-Machine Interfaces (HMI) for driver situation awareness, facilitate safe hand-off between automated and manual driving, and warn drivers of collisions via “Connected Vehicles” systems.

Implementation of Light-Sheet Fluorescence Microscope Workflow at the University Imaging Centers

Mark Sanders, University Imaging Center, Medical School
Matching funds: Neuroscience, Biomedical Engineering, University Imaging Center, AHC

Funding supports the purchase of a light-sheet fluorescence microscope (LSFM), a state-of-the-art fluorescence microscope that will permit three-dimensional imaging of biological and biomedical specimens with unprecedented spatial and temporal resolution. This equipment will serve the growing group of researchers in the College of Biological Sciences, AHC/Medical School and the College of Science and Engineering departments studying developmental, disease, aging and regenerative processes in a variety of model tissues (brain, heart, tumor and organoids) and organisms (mouse, zebrafish, plants, nemotodes, and fly) whose research will be greatly enhanced by the ability to conduct three-dimensional tissue imaging. It will also serve scientists located in the neighboring units of Stem Cell Institute, Institute for Translational Neuroscience, Agriculture Experiment Station, Lillehei Heart Institute, and the Cancer Center. This instrument and expertise will significantly improve basic research programs aimed at understanding systems in development and regeneration in plants and animals, cell-cell signaling, cardiac rhythms, and neurobiology.

Liquid Flow Cell TEM Holder for the UMN Characterization Facility

Mahesh Mahanthappa, CSENG Chemical Engineering and Material Science Admin, College of Science and Engineering
Matching funds: IPRIME, Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, MRSEC, Characterization Facility

Funding supports the acquisition of a new generation, state-of-the-art, specialized holder to be used with a transmission electron microscope (TEM) for in-situ liquid flow experiments with heating and electrical measurements at ultra-high-resolution. The holder will be part of the Characterization Facility (CharFac) of the College of Science and Engineering. Atomic-resolution TEM is an exceptional experimental instrument, but when combined with real-time in-situ liquid flow experiments with heating and electrical measurements, it will be a powerful and unique experimental tool for the understanding of real-time liquid chemistry and characterization of many nanoscale materials during their formation. The holder will be maintained by the CharFac staff. The staff will provide technical support and training of student and research personnel. The holder will be available to the entire University community as any other shared instrumentation in the CharFac without any additional charge.

Minnesota Nano Center (MNC) Core Electron Beam Lithography Software Package Upgrade

Mo Li, CSENG ECE Admin, College of Science and Engineering
Matching funds: Science and Engineering

Funding supports a major upgrade of the control and pattern generation software system for the electron beam lithography system at the Minnesota Nano Center (MNC). Upgrading the software to the latest version (Beamer V5.3 by GenISys) will bring significant improvement in the performance of the instrument and add new functionalities. The upgrade will benefit multiple faculty members across departments (ECE, Physics, CEMS, Bioengineering, etc.) who conduct research in nanotechnology.

MNC Parylene Thin Film Deposition System

Sarah Swisher, CSEND ECE Admin, College of Science and Engineering
Matching Funds: Science and Engineering

Funding supports a new thin film Parylene deposition system for the Minnesota Nano Center (MNC), a core shared facility for the University, providing micro- and nanofabrication capabilities to hundreds of users . This tool deposits an ultra-thin conformal polymer coating with excellent moisture, chemical, and dielectric barrier properties. The coating is inert and biocompatible (approved by the FDA for external and implanted medical devices), and has a wide variety of uses including medical devices, electronics, and even military/aerospace applications. The new Parylene deposition system will enable a diverse array of research pursuits, including: encapsulating carbon fiber neural recording arrays, insulating RF circuits to reduce signal migration, and creating ultra-thin mechanically flexible circuits.

Refurbishment and Upgrade of Micro-CT Facilities within School of Dentistry

Alex Fok, Division of Dental Biomaterials, School of Dentistry
Matching Funds: Dentistry

Funding supports the refurbishment and upgrade of the school's existing micro-CT machine by installing a bigger, slidable digital flat-panel detector to improve the signal-to-noise ratio of the images captured. This will allow 3D images of more radiolucent samples to be obtained with greater clarity. In addition, funding will provide specialty training to staff to improve their sample preparation (especially in the use of contrast agents) and image analysis techniques.

Renovation of the University of Minnesota Zebrafish Core Facility

Mark Masino, NSCI Neuroscience Administration, Medical School
Matching Funds: Medical School, Neuroscience, Genetics Cell Biology and Development

Funding supports an upgraded University of Minnesota Zebrafish Core Facility to enhance user research productivity and increase the number of trainees in the labs of facility users. The core has been an integral component of the research and teaching missions of the university for the past 15 years and it currently houses approximately 12,000 zebrafish. However, the equipment required for the housing, breeding and maintenance of fish lines in the core has not been upgraded since it was originally established in 2002.

UMN Medical Devices Center High End 3D Printing Upgrade

Arthur Erdman, CSENG Mechanical Engineering Admin, College of Science and Engineering
Matching Funds: Science and Engineering, Medical Devices Center, Medical School

Funding supports an upgrade of the current Stratasys Objet Connex260 3D printer to the new Stratasys J750 machine to expand the research support services the Medical Devices Center (MDC) can provide to AHC, CSE, and other units at the UMN. While the Connex260 is currently the highest resolution 3D printer on campus with 32 micron layer resolution, the J750 allows printing with six materials of different durometers/mechanical properties at the same time, enables the usage of 360,000 different colors, prints at 14 micron layer resolution, and decreases print time reducing printing costs for UMN researchers. The upgrade would enable printing of colored anatomical and non-medical models that require high resolution and variable durometer (stiffness) to replicate natural and envisioned systems.