The University of Washington Medical Center seeks to acquire an Azure Sapphire laser scanner to replace a now obsolete GE Healthcare Typhoon 9400 that is no longer supported by the manufacturer. The existing scanner is integral to the research programs of three NIH-funded major users within the Department of Microbiology (Smith, Lagunoff, and Woodward). Acquisition of a new scanner will fulfill substantial need for this technology by three additional NIH-funded Major Users in the Departments of Immunology (Gale) and Medicine (Hawn and Hybiske) and will substantially augment the technological capabilities of seven additional Minor users in the Departments of Microbiology, Immunology, and Global Health as well as ~70 additional labs who participate in a Shared Equipment Cost Center at the South Lake Union campus of the University of Washington. Sapphire technology provides a versatile platform for fluorescence imaging in the visible, near infrared, and infrared spectra, allowing for highly sensitive quantification of fluorescent signals over a very wide dynamic range in multiple formats, including live cells and protein and nucleic acid gels and membranes. Fluorescence detection can be easily multiplexed, allowing for automated detection of multiple, independent fluorescent reporters in the same sample. Live cells can be imaged repeatedly in a variety of culture formats, allowing for serial sampling and the acquisition of kinetic data. Moreover, the instrument also functions as a phosphor imager for quantification of radioactivity. The Major and Minor Users share a common interest in understanding the biology and biochemistry of microorganisms and mechanisms of pathogenesis of microbial diseases. Through a wide range of biochemical, immunological, virologic, and metabolic assays, researchers will use this versatile platform to dissect viral, bacterial, and host determinants and mechanisms of pathogenesis and carcinogenesis. Each of these fields of research is highly relevant to public health, enhancing our understanding of infectious disease, immune function, metabolism, and malignancy. The Major and Minor users train graduate and medical students and postdoctoral fellows in multiple disciplines and participate in both departmental and interdepartmental graduate and medical training programs. The instrument will be placed in a centralized location in a newly constructed building housing the Department of Microbiology on the South Lake Union Campus of the University of Washington, allowing easy access to all of the users. Acquisition of the Azure Saphhire laser scanner will enable an interdisciplinary approach to gain insight into human disease processes and treatment.
The Azure Sapphire laser scanner is a highly versatile and sensitive instrument that is used to image visible, near infrared, and infrared fluorescent light from biochemical samples and from living cells in many culture formats. The ability to accurately detect and quantify fluorescence enables a wide range of experiments that reveal critical information about infectious disease mechanisms, cell biology, immunology, and carcinogenesis.