The objective of the Fiber Diffraction Technology Operations Core at BioCAT is to provide the biomedical community access to optimized facilities for fiber diffraction of muscle and fibrous protein systems that are unique in the USA and competitive with all other facilities worldwide. The muscle diffraction program at BioCAT is renowned for its history of addressing important questions regarding the biophysics of muscle contraction and its regulation. More recently, emphasis has shifted to more directly biomedically relevant problems with muscle from transgenic animal models for human disease, including inherited cardiomyopathies. BioCAT is also known for the seminal fiber crystallography studies on the structure of collagenous and amyloid systems. In recent years, there has been a shift from studying individual fibrous protein samples towards spatially- resolved scanning diffraction imaging studies that examine the relationships between molecular structure and tissue organization in complex biological tissues such as brain and connective tissue in order to address maladies such as traumatic brain injury, neurodegenerative diseases and cancer metastasis. Our staff are internationally recognized experts in fiber diffraction able to provide expertise in all aspects of a project from experimental design, execution of the experiments, through to data analysis and interpretation. Staff work closely throughout the experiments with first time users and in the context of formal collaborations involving complicated experiments. For routine experiments by experienced users, staff provide onsite training, 24/7 on- call support and are available for help both before and after scheduled experiments. We present plans to adapt the BioCAT beamline 18ID to exploit the outstanding opportunities presented by the APS upgrade (APS-U). This includes plans to upgrade the main area detector to a state-of-the-art EIGER2 XE 9M pixel array detector with necessary upgrades to networking and computational infrastructure. The 20 years old beamline will be upgraded with modern control systems and diagnostics with continuing routine maintenance and contingency plans to ensure reliable operations. An ultra-high flux wide bandpass X-ray monochromator will be installed in order to maintain our competitive edge with other facilities nationally and worldwide to the benefit of all experimental modalities. User experience, quality and integrity of data will be enhanced by continuing improvements to the BioCAT developed experimental control hardware/software system, BioCon. The MuscleX data reduction and analysis package, also developed at BioCAT, for muscle diffraction, fiber crystallography, and scanning diffraction imaging will be enhanced and integrated into data analysis pipelines to provide real time feedback to users during experiments as well as greatly accelerate time to publication. BioCAT will provide training and access to multi-scale simulations for interpreting dynamic muscle diffraction data. Procedures and infrastructure will be developed and deployed for robust data and meta-data curation and archiving.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Center Core Grants (P30)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1)
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Illinois Institute of Technology
United States
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