A key component of the Sue and Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center will be the Stem Cell Core Facility. This facility (the "Core") provides stem cell technology and resources to the UCI, Orange County and Southern California research communities.
By merging technical and scientific expertise in a number of essential disciplines - including developmental and molecular genetics, cell culture and cell sorting, imaging, high-throughput platforms, and bioinformatics - the Core harbors a diverse toolkit for the exploration of multiple aspects of stem cell biology.
The Core also provides a knowledge base for differentiating, genetically modifying and assaying human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) in support of multiple stem cell projects on-campus and in the surrounding area. Chief among these is our dedication to training the next generation of stem cell culturists, including those who will go out into the research community and instruct other scientists.
Thus, services imbedded within UCI's Core will facilitate the translation of emerging stem cell technologies towards basic explorations of stem cell biology and, ultimately, therapy development.
All services and procedures are performed in accordance with good quality assurance and record keeping practices pursuant to standard operating procedures and good laboratory practices.
Generate new and genetically modified ESC lines for use by individual researchers or collaborative programs.
Tissue culture with techniques specific to hESCs; maintenance, cataloguing, and quality control of lines.
Capacity to support 16 investigators in modular set-ups; investigators from both industry and academia welcome.
Culture testing protocols for systematic, FDA-compliant testing of culture conditions and differentiation regimes.
Molecular biology techniques including standardized vectors, cloning tools and engineering of large DNA segments such as bacterial artificial chromosomes.
Nucleic acid analysis including simple and pulsed field electrophoresis, PCR-based quantitation of RNA and DNA from extracts or in situ, nucleic acid transfer and detection, extraction and purification from cells and tissue.
Live fluorescence imaging for engineered fluorescent protein expression in culture, in developing tissue and in array format.
Cell sorting and flow cytometry with indirect fluorescence using antibody markers. Microinjection, pronuclear transgenesis, blastocyst injection of ESC and nuclear transfer using piezoelectric as well as standard techniques.
Microinjection, pronuclear transgenesis, blastocyst injection of ESC and nuclear transfer using piezoelectric as well as standard techniques.
Bioinformatics methods of analyzing large data sets for genomic variation and gene expression profiling.
Training for individual users or groups in a training area containing four hoods, supporting a class size of up to eight students at a time.
Additional services are available in conjunction with the various programs of the SCRC along with other UCI programs (such as Bioengineering, Center for Molecular and Mitochondrial Medicine and Genetics, or the Center for Complex Biological Systems) including:
- Controlled environment microscopy supporting microfluidic sorting and three-dimensional tissue culture
- Real-time and confocal imaging
- Viral vector engineering and propogation
- Robotic microarray chip generator and assay system using automated microscopy