The ORC has Class 2 biological laboratories suitable for working with samples of human origin, including blood and tissue samples. This capability provides an opportunity for the application of photonic methods for the creation of novel diagnostic tools. The close proximity of these facilities to others, most notably the planar device fabrication facility, allows for co-fabrication of devices using both facilities. The biophotonics facility consists of separate laboratories for (i) mammalian cell (tissue) culture (ii) general biochemistry applications for instance handling hazardous blood and tissue samples, for recombinant DNA and protein preparation and the integration of these biomolecules within sensing methods.
The mammalian cell (tissue) culture laboratory is equipped with a safety cabinet and CO2 incubator as well as a large optical bench. Currently these facilities are being used for optical sorting of stem cell populations. The laboratory is configured for both tissue culture and for experimentation. This means that the laboratory is suitable for in vivo optical monitoring of living samples over long periods of time, under sterile, controlled conditions.
The general biochemistry laboratory is configured for processing and handling small scale biological samples. What makes this laboratory unique is the capability to work with optical devices fabricated in the cleanrooms and the handling of biohazardous materials (i.e. blood) for analytical applications using optical devices. In addition the infrastructure allows for devices based around the self-assembly of biomolecules/nanostructures to be fabricated. The laboratory is equipped with fumehoods, a safety cabinet, centrifuges, purification equipment, incubated shakers and stirrers - all the essential tools for biochemistry applications.