Texas A&M University-Kingsville

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NNTRC Laboratories

High Performance Liquid Chromatography Lab 

One of the National Natural Toxins Research Center’s main functions is to isolated components from venom and animal sera to be used in biomedical research.  The center has a sophisticated collection of high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) systems in which venom and animal sera are being separated and analyzed on a daily basis. There are numerous proteins found in snake venom, which makes the isolation of a single protein molecule a tedious and time consuming task.  Having multiple HPLC systems allows the researcher to set up a series of columns having different fractionating capabilities. Separation of proteins can be done according to their physical properties such as their size, shape, charge, hydrophobicity, and their affinity for other molecules.  The scientific terms for such separations are ion exchange (cation and anion), size exclusion, reverse phase, and affinity chromatography. The term HPLC was first used to describe the separation of molecules under high pressure in a stainless steel column filled with a matrix. In HPLC, both pump control and data acquisition can be done under the control a computer.  One computer can control up to four HPLC systems or each system can stand-alone.Our aim is help the students obtain a visual understanding of HPLC as it relates to separation of proteins, as well as providing a starting point for HPLC purification procedures.  

Absorbence  Sample Settling  Lab Station

Imaging Center  Centrifuge Machinery Storage

 Tissue Culture Facility

The NNTRC houses and produces many different cell types used for biomedical testing. This is accomplished by our researchers and carefully calibrated equipment in the center's tissue culture laboratory. Tissue culture facilities have been proven essential around the world to help scientists examine growth of normal and abnormal cells, as well as help provide vaccines for influenza, measles, mumps and the list goes on. The possibilities and the accurate applications of tissue culture labs are endless. The NNTRC uses it's laboratories examine the reactions caused or prohibited by supplying human cells with certain venom proteins. The center hopes to find biomedical applications of venom proteins in the future.

Lab Station Utility Cabinet Freezer

Purification Hub  Centrifuge Station

Molecular Biology Facility 

In order to provide an efficient and more fruitful method of protein strands from snake venom, the NNTRC must clone proteins. Molecular biology has been called the bridge between bio-chemistry and genetics, due to cell synthesis reasoning and DNA/RNA interaction understanding. The center deals with many aspects of cell cloning, first we analyze the protein DNA/RNA sequence using Automated Electrophoresis Systems. Our researchers use a sophisticated Polymerase chain reaction to amplify the protein's sequence in order to replicate. Later we test the protein by careful methods to ensure the precision of the cloned protein to the original. 

Work Table Sample Station Mass Balance

Centrifuge  Boiling Station Sanitary Station

 General Lab

The NNTRC also provides ample room for all projects to occur at the same time, our general lab houses tables and equipment to meet the demand of work. Along with more space the general lab also has multiple freezers and a very unique freezer used to store samples and chemicals. We also house the milli-q water machine in this lab and a few sophisticated centrifuges.  

Freezer Storage   Lab Station Lab Table

 

Hematology Lab

Last but not least, The NNTRC's Hemotology lab or Haematology lab if you will, is very important to the center's goals. Here blood is taken from donors, granted the correct paperwork and donors' profiles meet criteria, in order to directly test coagulation impedance. This is done by careful calibration of Sono-clot machines and multiple tests done by NNTRC researchers. This kind of breakthrough is directed to ease patients or completely alleviate patients who suffer from heart attacks. 

General Hematology  Agitator Station   Coagulation Stations
 Purification Station General Station 2

This page was last updated on: May 13, 2015