The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Core Facility Grants

We work together with researchers toward a singular goal: advancing applied science and technology to address the world’s most pressing challenges. The UMass Amherst Core Facilities offer expertise and resources that create new opportunities, not only for scientific achievement, but also for establishing new models of collaboration.

As of January 2021, 40 professional staff members in 30 unique Core Facilities support more than 300 faculty labs across campus and dozens of industry partners throughout Massachusetts and beyond. Our state-of-the-art laboratories, instrumentation, equipment, and world-class experts are helping researchers drive discovery and pursue scientific endeavors on the front line of innovation in

  • Life Sciences
  • Cellular, Molecular, and Animal Sciences
  • Manufacturing, Engineering, and Material Sciences
  • Human Health

Our technologies and labs harness the collective experience of facility directors and technical experts, who are among the best and brightest in their fields. They serve as facilitators, consultants, and collaborators available to support researchers every step of the way, including designing experiments, analyzing data, preparing manuscripts and grant submissions, and much more.

Advanced technologies and laboratories, bolstered by in-house expertise and support, expand the University’s research capabilities, capacity, and opportunities like never before—and in doing so, continue to define UMass Amherst as New England’s research powerhouse.

With a focus on applied outcomes and a team approach to discovery and development, the Core Facilities team

  • Provides access, training, and support for cutting edge technologies, advanced equipment, and high-end instrumentation
  • Facilitates research strategies – from experiment design to grant applications
  • Attracts top talent – faculty, as well as undergraduate and graduate students – to the University
  • Advances researchers’ and the University’s reputation, e.g., national research activity rankings
  • Helps identify and secure new funding sources
  • Manages risk and regulatory compliance related to facilities and creates synergies and cost efficiencies

Advanced Digital Design and Fabrication (ADDFab): Printing services, research, and training in multiple advanced additive manufacturing technologies. For metal printing,the facility includes the EOS M290 for direct metal laser sintering and the Optomec LENS 450 for directed energy deposition. Materials include stainless steels, nickel alloys, cobalt-chrome alloys and other experimental metal powders. For polymer printing, the facility includes an EOS P110 selective laser sintering printer (material: PA2200, nylon-12), a Stratasys Objet Connex350 material jetting printer (VeroWhite, VeroClear, TangoBlack, UV curable materials), a MarkForged Onyx One (nylon with chopped carbon fiber) and a MarkForged Mark Two (nylon with continuous carbon fiber strands). In addition, we have a media blaster, powder unpacking station, water blaster and media tumbler for post-processing polymer parts. For software, we use Solidworks for 3D CAD modeling and Materialise Magics for STL manipulation and repair.

  • Training is available for every printer and tool in the lab. We also offer hands-on workshops for industry professionals and workforce development, in design of parts for additive manufacturing, and operation of laser-based 3D printers.

FY21 Specialized Service Center Approved Fees

Updated January 2021

Animal Imaging: The facility is designed to assist members of the research community at UMass and on other Five College campuses to conduct research using live animal imaging technologies. The facility maintains a Perkin Elmer IVIS SpectrumCT, a combination optical imager (bioluminescence/fluorescence), and CT scanner. A recently acquired Bruker SkyScan 1276 micro CT will be operational in early 2019.

FY21 Specialized Service Center Approved Fees

Updated January 2021

Animal Models: Provides transgenic, gene targeting, and other services to the research community. The core performs microinjections of DNA into fertilized embryos to generate transgenic mice. Uses cutting-edge technologies, including CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing, to generate gene knock-out or knock-in mice or other animal models. In addition, provides mouse surgery service and training, such as patient-derived xenograft (PDX), tail vein injection, and catheterization. The core is able to customize services as requested to support development of animal models of human diseases in a timely and cost-efficient manner.

FY21 Specialized Service Center Approved Fees

January 2021

Atomic Force Microscope (AFM): The facility provides analytical and high resolution scanning probe based microscopy. This includes Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) related techniques such as tapping mode, contact mode or conductive AFM as well as force measurements. Equipment includes a Bruker MultiMode AFM for high resolution, a Bruker Dimensions AFM for large scale samples, and an Oxford Asylum MFP-3D for specialized experiments.

FY21 Specialized Service Center Approved Fees

Updated January 2021

Biophysical Characterization Core Facility: MicroCal iTC-200 with auto-sampler, BiaCore surface plasmon resonance system, two Nanotemper thermophoresis instruments (one for proteins with extrinsic labels, the other for Trp excitation), a Biotek microplate reader equipped to detect absorbance, fluorescence, luminescence, and anistropy, an Odyssey Li-COR CLx imaging system, GE Typhoon phosphorimager, Beckman analytical ultracentrifuge with Aviv fluorescence detector, Malvern DLS/Zetasizer Nano ZSP system with MPT-2 (Titrator)/Degasser, Wyatt multi-angle light scattering instrument with Agilent chromatography system, and a JASCO M-1500 circular dichroism instrument. In addition, our protein crystallography facility is equipped with a robotics crystallization set-up to prepare crystallization screens, along with the imaging stations necessary to monitor crystal growth. Finally, we have a Rigaku x-ray source that will enable acquisition of small-angle x-ray scattering data as well as serving for single crystal diffraction, which we have already used for this project (preliminary data).

FY21 Specialized Service Center Approved Fees

Updated January 2021

BioProduction and Separation Core Facility: The instruments in this facility enable both production and separation of biomolecules of interest to Institute for Applied Life Sciences (IALS) research groups. Instruments include New Brunswick BioFlo III controlled fermentation system and Hel Ltd. BioXplorer four chamber bioreactor to run simultaneous cultures under different conditions; 16 x 500 ml MiniBioreactor to support the cultivation of both microbial and higher eukaryotic cells; Micro-Matrix 24-well small scale (5 ml culture per well) bioreactor system for high-throughput screening of cultures/isolates for particular functions as well as identification of optimal culturing conditions; two PhotoBio autoclavable 3L bioreactors for mid-scale production of biomolecules from both microbial and higher eukaryotic cells; two ATKA chromatography systems for protein purification at the research laboratory scale. In addition to the bioreactors, the laboratory houses basic items needed for microbial culture including laminar flow hood, autoclave, incubator shakers, research-grade microscopes. A YSI biochemistry analyzer is available for off-line measurements of extracellular species concentrations.

FY21 Specialized Service Center Approved Fees

Updated January 2021

Cell Culture Facility: The equipment in this facility allow for routine mammalian cell culture work and includes incubators, hoods, refrigeration, centrifuges, microscopes, pipettes, etc. This facility allows for walk-in usage by users and will soon provide services including cell passage, storage, transfection, etc.

FY21 Specialized Service Center Approved Fees

Updated 2021

FY21 Specialized Service Center Approved Fees

Updated January 2021

Exercise Intervention & Outcomes: houses a wide variety of equipment that provides researchers with facilities in which they can:

  • Evaluate clinical markers of health: height, weight, cardio-metabolic function, strength, and blood/biopsy generated measures.
  • Complete participant characterization: strength, metabolic capacity, cardiac function, body composition (bone, fat, muscle) – including separation of visceral and subcutaneous abdominal fat
  • Conduct exercise intervention studies in a controlled setting. Participants can be closely monitored to ensure compliance to ensure precision in dose/response measures.
  • Evaluate a wide range of health-related biomarkers in the core or utilize other IALS Cores for additional characterization.

Human Motion: Designed and equipped for assessment of human movement (with and without robotic assistance) and the evaluation of wearable technologies that aim to quantify human motion. The Human Motion Lab is a large open space (38’ x 20’) with a 10’ ceiling and is located within the Human Testing Center. Having the Human Motion Lab located within the Human Testing Center allows us to conduct a wide variety of studies evaluating the effects and interactions of human motion with behavior, sleep, aerobic fitness, strength, body composition and muscle function.

Living Science Core: A unique home-like setting where researchers are able to investigate human behavior for prolonged periods. Measurements gathered from the instrumentation allow researchers to gain the information necessary for the calibration and/or validation of wearable activity monitors. Data generated can serve many research study designs, ranging from the development of the next generation of wearable and embedded monitoring devices to basic studies looking to objectively evaluate how individuals spend time in a natural setting.

Room Calorimeter: One of only 26 such facilities worldwide, the UMass Room Calorimeter houses two whole room metabolic chambers. The two chambers in Room Calorimeter differ in their capabilities. The smaller (92” x 48”) ‘flex’ chamber can be configured in either a low or high flow setting for the assessment of both resting or exercising metabolism. The large calorimeter (160” x 131”) is configured for long duration stays during which individuals can receive meals or medications through pass through ports. This chamber houses a toilet, sink, bed, desk, TV (w/ Apple TV), Lode Valiant 2 Treadmill, and a two camera observational video system which allows researchers to encode the video with behavior data to gain in-depth understanding of the interactions between behavior and metabolic cost.

Computational Modeling Core Facility: The Core provides simulation and modeling services to both academic and industrial partners, including ab-initio/classical molecular dynamics simulations, quantum chemistry/electronic structure calculations, computational spectroscopy, small molecule design, and protein-ligand docking and screening. The Core equips an in-house GPU cluster (Pikes) with a total of 704 Xeon cores, 176 Titan X Pascal and GTX 1080 GPU cards, and 396 TB storage. The Core also has access two shared HPC clusters: (1) UMass Green Cluster with 14,376 cores available (Intel and AMD), and (2) XSEDE Comet GPU cluster with a total 228 NVIDIA GPU cards (144 K80 and 144 P100), and Intel Xeon CPUs with 1872 cores in total.

FY20-21 Specialized Service Center Approved Fees

Updated January 2021

Device Characterization Lab: Instron Electropuls E10000 for fatigue testing in tension, compression, and torsion, up to 10kN/100Nm, Nikon Altera 7.5.5 Coordinate Measuring Machine for touch-probe measurements in a 70x50x50cm area to <3 micron precision, KLA Tencor Alpha D-500 stylus profiler for measuring surface roughness, Edibon EBVR Brinell, Vickers, and Rockwell Hardness testing, Stress Photonics GFP 1500 Full Field Strain Measurement System to visualize stress in parts during testing, and a 3D Systems Capture structured light 3D scanner for creating digital models from actual parts.

  • Training is available for every tool in the lab.

Updated January 1, 2021

Device Fabrication (Marcus Cleanroom): Designed to have CMOS processing technologies to serve as a key enabler towards personalized healthcare and preemptive medicine. Specifically, we aim to develop smart and miniature devices, circuits and systems with biomedical applications such as biosensing, DNA sequencing and smart implanting. This facility supports both discovery-based research and translational research that leads to the development of new research tools for life sciences. The facility includes the following equipment:

  • CHA Mark 50 Ebeam Evaporator
  • Technic SEMCON 1000
  • SB6 Gen2 SUSS MicroTec Wafer Bonder
  • AJA ATC-M Series Multi-Technique System
  • Oxford PlasmaPro 100 Cobra ICP Etch Systems

FY21 Specialized Service Center Approved Fees

Updated January 2021

Electron Microscopy: Equipped with several Transmission (TEM) and Scanning (SEM) Electron Microscopes as well as related sample preparation equipment for the use of the UMass community as well as external customers. The Center serves both materials and life-sciences communities and most of the instruments options are focused on analytical capabilities such as Energy Dispersive X-Ray Spectroscopy (EDS) and Electron Energy Loss Spectroscopy (EELS). Equipment includes: JEOL- JEM-2200FS EFTEM, JEOL 2000FX TEM, FEI Magellan 400 XHR-SEM, and a FEI Tecnai-T12 TEM

FY21 Specialized Service Center Approved Fees

Updated January 2021

Electronic Materials: The facility is designed to support research in developing advanced materials and devices for electronic and optoelectronic applications, such as solar cells, photodetectors, light-emitting diodes, field-effect transistors, etc. It offers a range of analytical instruments for characterization of optical, electronic structure, electrical, and electrochemical properties of materials. A line of state-of-the-art tools for solution-based fabrication of devices in inert atmosphere and a selection of instruments for comprehensive characterization of device performance are available. Equipment includes:

 

  • UV-VIS-NIR Spectrophotometer, Shimadzu UV-3600
  • Photoluminescence Spectrometer, custom design, Photon Technology International
  • Glove box, MBRAUN two-compartment with spin-coater (Specialty Coating Systems, SP-8) and thermal evaporator (two-source, sequential)
  • Solar Simulator 1 (SOL2A, Newport) and I-V station (Keithley 2400)
  • Solar Simulator 2 (91160, Newport) and I-V station (Keithley 2635)
  • QE-PV-SI Measurement Kit, Newport/Oriel Instruments
  • Impedance Analyzer, Agilent 4294A
  • Surface Profiler, KLA Tencor Alpha-Step IQ
  • Time-of-Flight Instrument, Nd:YAG-laser-based custom-built
  • Ultraviolet Photoelectron Spectrometer, Scienta Omicron ESCA+S
  • Electrochemical workstation, BASi Epsilon Basic with C3-cell stand

FY21 Specialized Service Center Approved Fees

Updated January 2021

Genomics Resource Facility: The facility provides as suite of services, including, but not limited to - Next-Generation Sequencing services (whole genome, shotgun metagenome, metatranscriptome, amplicon, exome sequencing, etc), quantitative-PCR analysis, nucleic-acid isolation, quantitative and qualitative analysis. To provide these services, the facility is equipped with Illumina NextSeq 500 Sequencing System, Illumina MiSeq Sequencing System, Fluidigm C1 Single-Cell Auto Prep System, Bioruptor Pico Sonicator System (Diagenode), BluePippin (Sage Science), Agilent 2100 Bioanalyzer system, FastPrep-24 5G Sample Homogenizer (MP Biomedicals), Qubit 3.0 Fluorometer (Life Technologies), Eppendorf epMotion 5070 Liquid Handling Workstation, Agilent Mx3000P qPCR System, Thermo Scientific Savant DNA120 SpeedVac, One Eppendorf Mastercycler epGradient and Two BioRad T100 thermal cycler (PCR), Gel electrophoresis system (Denville Scientific) and Gel-Documentation system (Model UGenius, Syngene).

FY20 Specialized Service Center Approved Fees

Updated January 2021

High Frequency Sensor Development Lab: The High Frequency Sensor Development facility offers cutting-edge capabilities including a probe station with network analyzer and extenders for measurements up to 1.2 THz, a fourier transform spectrometer for THz/IR spectral analysis of materials, and a tunable pulsed laser operating from 0.8 to 2.5 THz. The lab also includes a variety of auxiliary equipment such as oscilloscopes, spectrum analyzers and power supplies.

FY21 Specialized Service Center Approved Fees

Updated January 2021

Human MR Center (hMRC): This core facility provides state-of-the-art non-invasive human neuroimaging, whole body imaging, MR spectroscopy, and elastography. A Siemens 3T Skyra MRI/MRS scanner runs on a VE11C platform, with access to latest source codes, licenses, and works-in-progress for acquiring BOLD, diffusion, and spectroscopy, including simultaneous multi-slice imaging. The hMRC is equipped with three head coils (20-, 32- and 64-channel) and a full array of body, foot/ankle, knee, and breast coils, as well as double tuned 1H, 31P and 13C surface coils for multi-nuclear spectroscopy. MR-compatible peripheral equipment includes: 32” high resolution CRS BOLD screen, various button response units by Current Design, 128-channel Brain Vision EEG system, SR Research EyeLink 1000 Plus eye tracking system, Optoactive noise cancelling headphone/microphone, and an in-house engineered ergometer. In addition, the hMRC includes a mock scanner complete with participant interfaces for training subjects.

FY21 Specialized Service Center Approved Fees

Updated January 2021

Light Microscopy Core Facility: The instruments in this facility allow for all means of biological and material light-based imaging. Current equipment includes a Nikon A1R Resonant Scanning 6-color Confocal; Nikon A1Si Scanning 4-color Spectral Confocal with 4-color FLIM/FCS module; Nikon A1R Resonant Scanning 6-color Confocal with Structured Illumination module; Nikon upright Multiphoton Confocal system; Nikon N-STORM/TIRF super-resolution system; Nikon Wide-field High Content Acquisition Well Plate Scanning System; Nikon Ti-E with Andor Spinning Disc Confocal System; Laser capture microdissection system; electrophysiology station; three offline workstations with NIS elements software. Services include equipment and training support for sample preparation, imaging, and image analysis. Accessory stage-top incubators, large cell culture incubators, refrigeration, BSC hoods, phase contrast tissue culture light microscopes, and other needs for cell-based work are provided.

FY21 Specialized Service Center Approved Fees

Updated January 2021

The Mass Spectrometry Core Facility: Instrumentation includes UPLC-ESI-triple quadrupole for quantitative small molecule studies, a Solarix 4.7T FTMS, AB Sciex QStarXL Q-TOF, Bruker MicroTOF II ESI-TOF and Bruker MicroFlex MALDI-TOF mass spectrometers. Recent acquisitions include a Thermo Orbitrap Fusion tribrid mass spectrometer, equipped with both nanoLC and UPLC chromatography systems and a Waters Synapt G2Si quadrupole-time of flight instrument with ion mobility capabilities. The Synapt instrument is equipped with hydrogen-deuterium exchange automation robotics for performing HDX experiments.

FY21 Specialized Service Center Approved Fees

Updated January 2021

Mobile Health Sensing and Analytics (mHealth ) Laboratory: mHealth is designed to provide a state-of-the-art testbed for performing mobile health experiments at scale, and develop robust and personalized mHealth detectors.

FY21 Specialized Service Center Approved Fees

Updated January 2021

Nanofabrication Cleanroom: The Nanofabrication facility is part of a network of cleanroom laboratories that offer both unique and complementary capabilities. Training can be tailored to the specific set of processes or techniques needed to fabricate and test various devices or materials. Films of numerous metals and ceramics can be applied and patterning as small as 10 nm can be accomplished. A wet chemistry area provides a safe environment for the use of a variety of coatings, solvents, and etchants. Equipment includes:

  • JEOL JSM-7001F Ebeam Writer with Nanometer Pattern Generation System
  • STS Vision 310 Mark II PECVD System
  • STS Vision 320 Mark II RIE System
  • Gaertner L116C Ellipsometer
  • AJA International Orion 8 Sputtering System with Load Lock Chamber
  • CHA Electron Beam Evaporator with Cryopump
  • Cambridge NanoTech Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) System
  • Wentworth MP-2300 Probe Station
  • Keithley 4200 SCS Parametric Analyzer
  • Dektak 3 Profilometer
  • March Instruments PM-600 Plasma Treatment System
  • Nikon Optiphot Microscope with Infinity 2 Digital Camera
  • Blue M Convection Oven
  • OAI 1000 Watt DUV Exposure System
  • Olympus BH2 Microscope with Infinity 2 Digital Camera
  • SUSS MicroTec MA6 Mask Aligner
  • Brewer Science CEE 100CB Spin Coater
  • Developer Hood
  • Sonoplot GIX Microplotter II
  • Training: Training for new users consists of: lab orientation tour, explanation of clean room policies and lab safety, training on operation of needed equipment, consultation on photomask design and layout, assistance in designing process procedures, training on safe use of wet chemistry benches.

FY21 Specialized Service Center Approved Fees

Updated January 2021

NMR

NMR Core Facility: The facility oversees five NMR spectrometers—an Agilent 700 MHz spectrometer equipped with a cryoprobe and capable of triple resonance and gradient experiments; two new Bruker 600 MHz instruments configured to be maximally flexible to provide workhorse high-field NMR of both liquid and solid samples. Importantly, the two 600 MHz instruments can use all the same probes and so provide optimal versatility. There is at all times a high-field liquids instrument available to the user community. A sample changer enables screening of small molecule interactions with target biomacromolecules. For routine users: a new high-throughput Bruker Prodigy 500 MHz instrument and a Bruker 400 MHz, each equipped with a sample changer in combination with remote processing capabilities to allow much greater efficiencies for synthetic groups.

FY21 Specialized Service Center Approved Fees

Updated January 2021

Nutriceutical Formulation: the facility houses equipment for isolation of bioactive food components, production of delivery systems such as emulsions and powders and several food processing operations including concentration by reverse osmosis, ultrahigh and HTST pasteurization, spray drying. Instruments are available to characterize liquid and dried delivery systems and test their biological efficacy. Space is also available for standard food production operations.

FY19 Specialized Service Center Approved Fees

Updated January 2021

Roll-to-Roll Fabrication & Processing (R2R) Facility: the R2R facility provides a unique set of custom, moving web-based tools for the translation of advanced materials and nanomanufacturing processes to industrially relevant scalable platforms for the development of next generation life science innovations in biosensors, diagnostics, and platforms for personalized health monitoring. Combined with additional web-based tools for vacuum sputter deposition, reactive ion etching, wet chemistry, and interlayer alignment, providing access to an emerging set of tools not found anywhere else.

  • Training: Training for new users consists of: lab safety training, operation of the instrument and associated software, use of data analysis software, exporting or presenting data, clean up and shutdown of the instrumentation. Rates currently under review.

Updated January 2021

Sensor Integration: The Sensor Integration facility has equipment for precise integration of optical and electronic components into compact systems. Equipment includes probe station with laser cutter, wafer saw, wire bonders, a flip chip bonder, via plating, and a laser PCB prototyping tool.

FY21 Specialized Service Center Approved Fees

Updated January 2021

Sleep Monitoring Lab: The only sleep research facility in the region equipped for overnight sleep studies to access sleep and sleep physiology. The center has three bedrooms that can be used for polysomnography, the gold standard for sleep measurement.

FY21 Specialized Service Center Approved Fees

Updated January 2021

X-Ray Scattering Facility: The facility houses several instruments dedicated to the structural analysis of crystalline materials, the determination of highly periodic morphologies in self-assembled systems over a large length scale range. Equipment includes a SAXSLAB Ganesha with WAXS and GIXRD, and a Panalytical XRD with Reflectivity option.

FY21 Specialized Service Center Approved Fees

Udpated January 2021