This subproject is one of many research subprojects utilizing the resources provided by a Shared Instrumentation Grant funded by NIH/NCRR. The subproject and investigator (PI) may have received primary funding from another NIH source, and thus could be represented in other CRISP entries. The institution listed is for the grant, which is not necessarily the institution for the investigator. DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): We are requesting funds to acquire a scanning electron microscope to upgrade a well-established microscopy shared resource facility. This facility is available to all Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) investigators and serves diverse research programs. This equipment will replace the facility's 18-year old SEM that is failing. Furthermore, the requested equipment will help to meet the increasing research demands that are not fulfilled presently by the existing equipment in the Facility. In particular, there is a need for a technologically up-to-date, user-friendly scanning electron microscope. Many research questions have been developed that cannot be answered by the failing instrument that is currently in the facility. The proposed equipment for purchase is a Zeiss EVO 50 XVP scanning electron microscope. This instrument can be used to image non-coated, non-conductive, and 'wet' samples under variable pressure conditions. Thus, samples that are susceptible to preparation artifacts may be imaged with minimal (or no) pretreatment (i.e. non-conductive samples, non-coated samples, hydrated samples). Functioning as a new shared resource for the institution, during 2004, 36 different labs, representing 89 investigators from 17 different departments within the university have used the VCU - Microscopy Facility and its services (fluorescence microscopy, confocal microscopy, and transmission electron microscopy). The projects conducted by these researchers represent a broad range of studies (cell biology, microbiology, neurobiology, bioengineering, orthodontics). Many of these projects are integral to thesis research of graduate students in the Ph.D. program. Representative studies of NIH-funded major users (from 7 labs; 3 departments) have been highlighted in the Research Activities section of this grant proposal. Included are research reports from current users of the Microscopy Facility (Fuss, Ohman, Povlishock, Simpson, Bowlin, Cabral, and Wayne). Work from 2 other labs (Shroff, and Tufekci) in an additional department is also presented as representative of minor users generating preliminary data for future research grant applications. Improvements to the facility will have a major impact on research at VCU: 1) The proposed equipment will enhance the research capability and productivity of a well used core facility; 2) The new equipment will attract even more users (whose needs currently cannot be met by the available equipment). 3) A course in emerging techniques of imaging currently under development for graduate students and post-doctoral fellows will utilize the SEM and will add to the user base of the Microscopy Facility. 4) The histology courses of the medical, dental, nursing, and physical therapy schools will have access to digital SEM images that may be integrated into their all-digital laboratories.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Center for Research Resources (NCRR)
Biomedical Research Support Shared Instrumentation Grants (S10)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-CB-H (30))
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Virginia Commonwealth University
Anatomy/Cell Biology
Schools of Medicine
United States
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