The Sawakuchi Lab has approximately 500 square feet of floor space and is composed of two adjacent rooms for instrument development, a room with a fully equipded wet lab and three adjacent rooms for offices.
Main equipment items include:
FV1200-IX83 confocal laser-scanning microscope (Olympus)
The FV1200-IX83 is equipped with three excitation lasers (473, 543 and 635 nm); three emission detectors (high-sensitive photomultiplier tubes); a linear-encoded motorized stage; z piezo stage. Emission filters include a 670 nm longpass; and 655-755 nm, 560-620 nm and 490-525 nm bandpasses.
In-house portable custom-built fluorescence confocal laser-scanning microscope
This system is currently under construction. The main components include: excitation sources (635, 488 and 405 nm; BlueSky Research, Milpitas, CA); an aberration corrected objective; xy scan mirrors system and servo drivers for raster scan (6210H; Cambridge Tech Inc., Lexington, MA); a xyz motorized stage; two photodetectors (PMT and APD); DAQs to acquire the photodectors’ signals and control the xy scan mirrors, stages and lasers (USB-6366; National Instruments, Austin, TX); software to integrate and control all the components of the system (LabView; National Instruments); and various lenses, dichroic filters (DF), optical filters (OF), neutral density filters (NDF) and pinholes.
In-house custom-built optically stimulated luminescence detector reader
The OSL reader’s stimulation source is composed of green light-emitting diodes (LEDs) (LXML-PM01-0100 Green Rebel LED, Philips Lumiled Light Company, San Jose, CA) and long-pass optical filters (GG-495, Schott AG, Mainz, Germany) to block short wavelengths of the LED emission. Sets of interchangeable optical filters are used in front of the photomultiplier tube (PMT) (P25PC-02, S/N 270, Sens-Tech Limited, Langley, Berkshire, UK). During readout, the PMT counts are recorded using a data acquisition card (NI USB-6211, National Instruments, Austin, TX), and the entire system is controlled using LabVIEW software (National Instruments). The OSL reader can perform readouts using both continuous wave (CWOSL) and pulse (POSL) modes.
Custom bleaching unit
This unit consists of four 26 W fluorescent light bulbs (General Electric, Fairfield, CT) and a long-pass optical filter (GG-495, Schott AG) to completely block wavelengths below 495 nm. This bleaching unit is used to remove any residual OSL signal from Al2O3:C OSLDs that may have been present as a result of the background dose acquired during storage.
In addition we have several computers, an electronics workbench, a darkroom for detector preparation; and tools and other ancillary equipment, including photodetectors, data acquisition cards, power supplies, multimeters, an oscilloscope, optical lenses, optical filters, and many optical-mechanical items.
Our laboratory members have access to the wet laboratory facilities equipped with cell culture hoods with ultraviolet sterilization, cell culture incubators, microscopes, and miscellaneous laboratory equipment required for the generation and maintenance of cell cultures.
Our laboratory has access to the irradiation facilities from the Proton Therapy Center in Houston (PTCH), which is composed of a 250-MeV synchrotron proton accelerator and four treatment rooms, including three with gantries and one with a fixed horizontal beam. The PTCH also contains an additional room dedicated to experiments only, and this room contains a wet laboratory for cell work. One of the three gantries is equipped to deliver intensity- and energy-modulated treatments with scanned proton beams.
Our laboratory also has access to the irradiation facilities of the MD Anderson Radiotherapy Treatment Center, which has twenty linear accelerators, one GammaKnife, and two cobalt-60 sources.
Parallel computer facilities
Our laboratory has access to the institutional cluster, which is composed of over 8,064-processors (336 nodes). Each node has two 12-core AMD 6174 processors, for a total of 24 cores per node. We also have access to the Lonestar cluster from the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC), which has a total of 22,656-processors.