Research Facilities

Our scientific facilities can be grouped into four catagories as shown below. For more information on any of the units facilities please feel free to Contact us. For information on facilities available to volunteers please see the volunteer area section.

1.Human Intervention Study Unit: volLDI

  • Fully equipped human intervention suite consisting of 6 beds and 2 blood taking stations (including canulation).
  • Anthropometry: full range of anthropometric measures including Tanita body composition measurement.
  • Blood Pressure: standard and 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (ABPM).
  • Vascular reactivity measurement: Flow Mediated Dilatation (FMD), Laser Doppler Imaging (LDI) with Iontophoresis, Peripheral Arterial Tone (PAT), Digital Volume Pulse (DVP) and Pulse Wave Velocity (PWV) and Analysis (PWA).
  • Dynamic and surrogate markers of insulin sensitivity: Intravenous glucose tolerance test (IVGTT), insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) and insulin sensitivity QUICKI (fasting NEFA in addition to glucose and insulin levels).

Cognitive performance:Cognitive tests for: (A) Memory: (i) working memory using the Serial Sevens task; (ii) Explicit and implicit long-term memory measured by immediate cued word recall and word-stem completion respectively; (iii) Spatial memory using a 3D computerized radial maze; (iv) visual memory: computerised form of the face recognition part of the Recognition Memory Test. (B) Executive Function: (i) Computerized Stroop Test; (ii) Go-NoGo task (C) Mood: Visual Analogue Scales. (D) Motor skill: (i) Static balance, (ii) Dynamic balance (Tandem walking). ilab

  • Biochemical response to nutrients and diets (iLAB, ELISA, RT-PCR): Assessment of: 1) blood lipids (total-, LDL- and HDL-cholesterol, TAG, NEFA and surrogate markers for insulin sensitivity RQUICKI; 2) Markers of the inflammatory response: interleukin-6 (IL-6), C-reactive protein (CRP) and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-a); 3) plasma nitric oxide bioavailability; 4) Haemostatic factors: PAI-1, factor V11c and fibrinogen; 5) Adhesion molecule expression: intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1), vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1) and endothelial selectin (E-selectin); 6) Plasma homocysteine; 7) Plasma oxidative status (total antioxidant and total oxidant status.

2.Cellular and Molecular Nutrition:

  • Cell Culture: Two fully equipped cell culture rooms suitable for the culture of primary cells and various cell lines.
  • Analysis of proteins and DNA: Western Immunoblotting, real time PCR
  • Profiling and growth assessment of human large intestinal bacterial (faecal microflora) by Fluorescent In Situ Hybridisation (FISH) and Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis (DGGE).

3.Food analysis and nutrient bioavailability:

  • 2 plate freeze dryers for preparation of meal and/or food samples for nutrient extraction.
  • Analytical Food Chemistry I: 6 HPLC systems (Agilent, Waters and Dionex) fitted with UV-visible, photodiode array and florescent detection.Suitable for the detection of a variety of individual food or meal nutrients, in particular, phytochemicals (flavonoids, hydroxycinnamates), vitamin C, vitamin E, potassium.
  • Analytical Food chemistry II: Agilent LC-MS/MS system. Suitable for precise nutrient characterisation and changes in nutrient structure resulting from food processing (heating, fermentation, drying etc).
  • Analytical Food chemistry III: 3 Agilent GC-MS systems.Suitable for the analysis of fatty acid profiles in foods and cellular samples
  • Precision extraction and analysis of human blood and urine samples for phytochemicals (flavonoids, hydroxycinnamates, etc).

4.Additional Collaborative Facilities: corticalneuronsGR

  • Centre for Integrated Neuroscience and Neurodynamics (CINN)
  • Brain imaging: functional MRI (fMRI) and evoked response potential (ERP) in isolation or in conjunction with cognitive tests.
  • Whole-body cardiovascular MRI
  • BioCentre
  • Protein Structural Biology: Crystallisation, X-ray diffraction, Structure Modeling
  • DNA/RNA characterization: DNA sequencing, Fragment analysis
  • Molecular Mass determination / Protein ID: Mass Spectrometry, Protein ID
  • Molecular Interaction (Biacore): Real time measurements of binding kinetics between molecules
  • Microarray technology: Advice with experimental design, Image acquisition & analysis, Data pre-processing & statistical analysis

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