802D – Motorized Bath for Permeabilized Fibre Experiments
In 2003 Prof. John Faulkner’s Lab at the University of Michigan was about to undertake a multiyear test program of over a thousand permeabilized fiber samples from humans. They needed a method of automating calcium switching.
The sheer volume of fibers that needed testing required a system that was robust enough to be used by undergraduates on a daily basis, with no damage to force transducers or motors. No commercially available apparatus existed at the time and any home-made units suffered from reliability issues.
After consultation with Faulkner’s lab, Aurora Scientific designed and built the 802A permeabilized fiber apparatus featuring 6 wells, temperature control and switching speeds of about 1 second. The chamber was integrated as a system with our force transducer and motor. The apparatus could repeatedly place the bath at the exact location every time, without damage to the fiber or test equipment.
Three complete systems were supplied to the Faulkner lab for the price of home-built units. These systems have been in almost continuous operation for the past 6 years and thousands of fibers have been tested by many different undergraduate workers. Updated versions of this system have been acquired by many of the leading fiber research labs worldwide.