MiCRA Gateway RD&I Facilities provide a range of solutions for Industry

Equipment in MiCRA Lab

MiCRA Technology Gateway is an industry-led research and development facility located in the CASH-Synergy Centre at TU Dublin (Tallaght Campus). Focusing on the advancement of Agri-Food sensing and In-Vitro Biodiagnostic technologies, the gateway consists of state-of-the-art electroanalytical, analytical, surface science, cell culture and microbiology labs/instrumentation, and sensor/prototype fabrication facilities. 

The facility has a strong and growing portfolio of applied research, making knowledge and expertise accessible to local and national industry. Working extensively with a range of companies from start-ups through SMEs to global multinationals. The Gateways core technologies can be readily adapted to provide solutions for a range of challenges.  

In sectors that include: 

  • Agri-Food Sensing Technology 
  • In-Vitro Biodiagnostics 
  • Sustainability & Environmental Testing 
  • Bio and Pharma Technology 
  • Analytical Services & Research 
  • Materials Research 

MiCRA has access to a range of fully equipped research laboratories facilitating wet chemistry, sample preparation and electrochemical and spectroscopic analysis. The Gateway also has full access to the wider laboratory and analytical facilities across TU Dublin including: Chromatographic analysis, surface science, spectroscopic, particle size analysis and elemental analysis. 

Current facilities available at MiCRA include: 

Analytical Laboratories 

We have two dedicated laboratories one for scanning electron microscopy, with two SEM instruments, one with EDX function, and the second which has 300 MHz and 500 MHz multi-nuclear NMR systems (can do solid state as well). 

There is a large analytical instrumentation laboratory which houses a suite of spectroscopic and chromatographic equipment including a GC-MS (Agilent Technology); LC-MS Q-TOF Accurate-Mass (Agilent technologies 6530); Shmiadzu uHPLC and preparative LC systems; FT-IR, UV-vis spectrophotometer, and a polarimeter. 

Chemical Synthesis Laboratory 

Has benchspace and 11 high specification extraction fumehoods, serviced with gases for inert reactions. The laboratory is kitted out with ancillary equipment and glassware for advanced experimental chemical synthesis. It also houses specialist synthesis equipment, including a hyrdogenator, microwave synthesiser and a solid phase peptide synthesiser. 

Electroanalytical Innovation Laboratory 

This is used mainly for sensor fabrication and analysis with at least six different potentiostats for cyclic voltammetry, square wave voltammetry. 

Pilot Plant 

Fermentation Suite – up to 100L capacity with steam in place and clean in place facilities; 10L system and a 2L quad fermentation unit. Can be set up for microbial cell culture, but also has microspargers and marine type impellers for conversion to animal cell culture. All the fermenters have pH, pO2, turbidity and off gas analysis which feeds back to a MFCS data handling unit. For downstream processing there is Centrifuge 50L/hr (11,750 rpm) and a Millipore TFF unit for concentrating down product depending on the process. 

BIOSTAT Cultibag RM 20/50 – This is a wave technology/disposable bag system for animal cell culture, up to 20L capacity currently, 50L possible with additional equipment. 

Pilot Plant: Solid Formulations – 5 vessels ranging from 250Lto 500L; training instrumentation skid; centrally controlled by a PLC with SCADA interface for the user. 

Other equipment in the Pilot Plant includes – Millipore K-Prime unit for larger scale chromatography projects; Bottling line with 500ml fill capacity fed from the main vessels in the lab; Pasteurising Unit. 

PAT and Technology Transfer Laboratories 

We have a 3000 sq ft Technology Development & Transfer Laboratory in the main building which houses a 2L automated Chemical Reactor, 10L 1 Pot Granulator / Dryer, Fluid Bed Dryer (Glatt), Homogeniser, Tablet Press, Powder Testing Equipment – e.g. Particle Size, Dissolution, Hardness, Friability, Disintegration, sieves. There is also a supporting process analytical laboratory (PAT Lab) with Raman and NIR spectrometers, particle size analyser, rheometer and thermoanalytical instruments, e.g. DSC, TGA. 

Prototype and Fabrication Lab 

The Prototype and Fabrication Lab allows for the rapid design and testing of a wide variety of electrochemical and microfluidic systems. Laboratory equipment includes: 

  • Potentiostat equipment and Multichannel Potentiostat suites with potentiostat/galvanostat/impedance capabilities to develop rapid sensors for various industry applications  
  • CAD software for chip and electrode design 
  • DEK 248 Screen printer: allowing for the patterning of electrodes, conductive tracks, and insulators 
  • Formulating facilities: preparation/modification of printing inks 
  • Dispenser for electrode modification and coating 
  • Electrodes and Microfluidics design and manufacturing 
  • Laser-cutter: fabrication of microfluidic channels 
  • Sonic bonder: assembling microfluidic chips 
  • Vastex D1 Series (D-100) Infrared Dryer 

Class II Biosafety & Microbiology Laboratories 

The microbiology laboratories at MiCRA Biodiagnostics is well equipped with facilities to handle general and Class I & II micro-organisms. Our laboratory equipment includes: 

  • Biological Safety Cabinet (Class II) 
  • Support Equipment (for the growth and preservation of micro-organisms in aerobic/anaerobic conditions) 
  • CO2 Incubator, Anaerobic jars, Incubator shakers, –20°C and –80°C Freezers, Refrigerator 
  • Electrochemical Workstations 
  • Potentiostats  
  • UV-VIS Spectrophotometer 
  • Optical Microscope 
  • Support Instrumentation 
  • Water Bath, Thermo-mixer, Balance, etc. 
  • Autoclaves for Sterilization and Waste Disposal 

For more information on facilities and services available at MiCRA check out their website or contact the team.  

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