BRI to be recipient of Marine Institute Infrastructure Award 2017


The BRI are pleased to announce that they have been selected as recipients of the Marine Institute Infrastructure Award 2017. This specialist equipment and infrastructure research call was formed with a view to raise the performance of the marine research and innovation community across all areas by enabling the acquisition of specialist equipment. The BRI proposal – submitted in June 2017 by several researchers led by Prof. Neil J. Rowan and Dr. Owen Donohoe, was centered on the acquisition of a flow cytometry system for several current and upcoming marine focused projects.

As part of this award, the BRI will receive over €144,000 towards the purchase of a MACSQuant® Analyzer 10 flow cytometery system. This state of the art system is equipped with three laser (405, 488, 638 nm), two scatter (FSC, SSC) and eight fluorescent channels and represents a highly versatile system for rapid, fully automated multi-colour flow cytometry.

MACSQuant® Analyzer 10 Flow Cytometry System

Flow cytometry is an extremely useful type of technology used for rapid, complex and in depth analysis of a wide variety of biological samples. As such, it is broadly applicable to many disciplines within the field biosciences. It has been heavily used over the years by many marine laboratories and has become an invaluable tool in this area with many applications in the fields of aquatic microbiology profiling, phytoplankton profiling and marine virology etc. For this reason, this acquisition will represent a valuable addition to the National Equipment Pool, becoming a resource which can be leveraged by existing and future research and innovation networks.

In its simplest form flow cytometry systems are used to focus cells or particles within samples into a rapidly flowing narrow jet of water, allowing cells or particles to be passed through a narrow measuring window in single file. As they pass though this window, several parameters can be simultaneously measured for several thousand cells per second. This facilitates rapid real time determination of quantities, size distribution and additional biochemical and physiological characteristics of individual cells and particles, allowing rapid development of characteristic profiles for different heterogeneous sample preparations through high-speed multiparametric data acquisition. It can be used in the analysis of a wide variety of sample types ranging from disassociated tissue, bodily fluids to environmental samples


Video explaining the basics of Flow Cytometry

Video describing the MACSQuant® Analyzer 10 Flow Cytometry System being acquired by the BRI in AIT

This funding will also cover the cost of an autoMACS® Pro Separator, a complementary magnetic-activated cell sorting system facilitating fully automated isolation of cells of interest from mixed cell populations or removal of unwanted cells to reduce background-noise in downstream flow-cytometry analysis. The use of an independent cell separating system like this allows secondary staining of separated cells, which will be very important for some applications.








autoMACS® Pro Separator System


Video describing the autoMACS® Pro Separator System being acquired by the BRI in AIT

The purchase of these systems represents huge addition to the BRI in terms of our potential research output, allowing researchers to broaden the scope and nature of many of our current research programs and future research pipeline. This process will ultimately allow BRI researchers to to explore additional areas of interest and allow us to continue to develop and build on our existing scientific competency in areas such as:

– Advanced immunology studies
– Study of large heterogenous microbial communities/ecosystems
– Evaluation of novel disease mitigation approaches
– Eco-toxicology utilising key environmental indicator species
– Cellular cytotoxicity studies

Ultimately this addition will boost our future grant competitiveness and what we can bring to the table in collaborative research projects.

This award to AIT is part of larger €3.3 Million funding announcement made by Minister for Agriculture Micheal Creed at an event held in Dublin in November 2017 and attended by AITs Dr. Siobhan Kavnagh

HEI Representatives at the Marine Institute’s Infrastructure Award Announcement, Cliff Town House, St Stephens Green 21st November 2017