University of Minnesota
BioTechnology Institute
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BTI Services

Outreach is a fundamental tenet of the BioTechnology Institute's mission as part of a land grant university. The BTI provides a nurturing environment where ideas can grow into new biotechnology businesses. The resources provided by the institute include highly qualified research scientists and state-of-the-art equipment. These are utilized by faculty and companies alike to scale-up ideas from the discovery stage to a level permitting assessment of technological feasibility and potential for commercialization. In addition, our students benefit from hands-on training in fermentation, separation, purification and molecular biology techniques.

The BTI has invested significantly in providing equipment that is properly instrumented to provide data to the researcher as well as adequate quantities of product to support subsequent research and development efforts. One result has been the collective resource known as Biodale.

Biotechnology Resource Center

Biodale's anchor tenant, the Biotechnology Resource Center (BRC) has a full-time staff of scientists, engineers, and technicians to support customer projects in fermentation, recombinant protein expression, protein purification, and molecular biology. The BRC's 13 bioreactors, ranging from 6 to 300L in size, are equipped with the latest analytical and control capabilities providing an ideal environment for process development and optimization. The fermentation capacity is matched by a corresponding range of downstream processing equipment, from centrifuges to chromatography. In addition, the BRC offers special growth capabilities for microalgae and phototrophic bacteria.

Imaging Center

The Imaging Center (IC) is a state-of-the-art facility for imaging of biological specimens utilizing light microscopy, electron microscopy, and digital image analysis related to research, documentation and presentation. Imaging Center users have access to image processing, analysis, deconvolution, 3D reconstruction and presentation softwares on IC computer workstations. Technical assistance and consulting is available.

Mass Spectrometry Consortium
and Proteome Analysis Core

The Mass Spectrometry Consortium and Proteome Analysis Core work hand-in-hand to provide support, training, and equipment for the separation, analysis and identification of proteins and peptides using a variety of proteomic and mass spectrometric technologies. A focus is the separation and analysis of complex protein mixtures, particularly with respect to distinguishing differential expression of proteins between two samples. In addition to proteins, the Mass Spectrometry Consortium also has the capabilities to analyze a wide range of other biological molecules.

Biomedical Genomics Center

The Biomedical Genomics Center handles small and high-throughput DNA sequencing projects using 16 and 96 capillary electrophoretic analyzers. The throughput of the facility is further enhanced by automated plasmid preparation using a liquid handling robot. The facility also offers genotyping using GeneScan(r) and real-time, quantitative PCR and SNP detection using an ABI 7900HT analyzer.

12 Macintosh workstations are clustered to share processors and connected by high-speed networks to the Bioinformatics Research and Computing Facility (Minnesota Supercomputer Institute). The set-up is used to analyze and compare genetic sequences and to mine genomic data sets. This facility also hosts workshops and training in the field of bioinformatics.