UPDDI Core Facilities and Equipment

Discovery Technology

The UPDDI occupies a total of 7,275 sq. ft. of newly renovated laboratory space on the 9th floor of the Thomas StarzlBiomedical Science Tower (BST), including:

  • individual wet laboratories containing facilities to propagate a wide variety of mammalian, insect and yeast cells, including:
    • a dedicated Liver Microphysiology Laboratory featuring:
      • 3 tissue culture hoods
      • 5 Incubators
      • perfusion pumps with capabilities to run up to 80 devices at a time
      • 2 Etaluma automated, incubated microscopes for online, long term monitoring of live cells in microfluidic devices
    • a dedicated Metastatic Cancer Research Laboratory featuring
      • 2 tissue culture hoods
      • 4 incubators
      • a dedicated quarantine area for mycoplasma detection, isolation, and remediation
    • a High Throughput Screening (HTS) and High Content Screening (HCS) facility:
      • Focusing on our Neurodegeneration Program activities and Collaborative Discovery Projects
      • 2 additional tissue culture hoods
      • 5 additional incubators
      • Imaging and analysis platforms
      • robotic liquid handling systems
        • bulk delivery of reagents or cells
          • Thermo Scientific Multidrop Combi
          • Microflo
      • compound dilution and transfer to assay or daughter plates
        • Janus MDT
        • Velocity 11 Bravo
        • Perkin Elmer Multiprobe
        • Evolution EP3
      • Automated high-content microscope imaging platforms:
        • GE Healthcare IN Cell 6000 laser based confocal system
    • a dedicated room for protein production and molecular biology procedures
    • a chemicals/preparation room dedicated to reagent preparation, compressed gases storage, and HTS consumables storage. 
  • An additional shared space contains cold rooms, -80 freezers, autoclaves and glassware washing facilities.
  • Detection instruments at the UPDDI enable running every kind of assay including:
    • absorbance
    • luminescence
    • fluorescence intensity, time-resolved fluorescence, fluorescence polarization
    • high-content imaging (HCI) 

Other instrumentation includes a GE Healthcare Storm Phosphorimager, a Biacore T100, Bio-Rad iQ5 Real-Time PCR system, InVivo2 400 hypoxic workstation, Waters Model 2690 HPLC with a 2487 spectrophotometer, a Waters Model 994 photodiode array detector, a GE Healthcare Aktä FPLC, two Olympus IX50 microscopes equipped with epiflouorescence and monochrome/color CCD cameras (video capable), two Leica DM IL inverted phase contrast microscopes, as well as two cell culture microscopes.


Data servers at the UPDDI are hosted at UPitt’s secure, state of the art Network Operations Center (NOC) with 24/7 monitoring and redundant power and cooling systems. Active data is backup up daily and static data archived semiannually. The ten servers, connected via a state-of-the-art network, consist of:

·Two Dell Poweredge (PE) R720 servers for virtualization of workstations and servers, each with 128 GB memory, dual Intel Xeon 2.1GHz processors and 10 TB local storage
·A PE R720 server hosting the GE IN Cell Miner database, with 16 GB memory, dual Intel Xeon 2.2GHz processors and 25 TB storage,
·A PE 2850 server hosting Oracle and an IDBS ActivityBase® LIMS server with 8 GB memory and two Dual Core 2.8GHz CPUs;
·Two PE 2950 servers hosting MS SQLServer and the ArrayScan® VTI and ArrayScan II Cellomics Store® databases, with 16 & 4 GB memory and two Dual Core 2.8GHz CPUs with;
·A PE 2850 server with MS-SQLServer to host the Molecular Devices MDCStore database;
·A high-performance PE 2950 application server to house the Definiens image intelligence suite, with four analysis engines and two high-speed dual quad-core CPUs, 8 GB memory  
·Two PE 2850 file servers with 8 GB memory and two Dual Core 2.8 GHz CPUs.
·A scalable Dell Compellent SC4020 storage array, configured with 30TB, expandable to 1 PB
·A scalable EMC CX300 Storage Area Network (SAN) with 36 TB formatted storage.

Analysis of large and complex data sets is handled through LIMS and HTS/HCS analysis software including two IDBS ActivityBase™ LIMS with Chemistry Selection Assistants, and Protocol Transfer Assistants seats; two IDBS SARview seats; three licenses for the IN Cell Investigator HCS software; two Cellomics platinum packages of Bio-Application image analysis algorithms (V2, V3 and V4) for their ArrayScan® imaging platforms (Cell Cycle, Cell Health Profiling, Cell Motility, Cell Spreading, Compartmental Analysis AS, Cyto-Cell Membrane, Cyto-Nuc Translocation, Extended Neurite OG, GPCR Signaling, Micronucleus, Molecular Translocation, Morphology Explorer, MP Cytotoxicity, Neuronal Profiling, Neurite Outgrowth, Spot Detector, Target Activation, and Tube Formation); four vHCS™ Discovery Toolbox licenses; four vHCS™ View licenses; 6 Spotfire® data visualization licenses; MetaXpress and Acuity site licenses; a Definiens image intelligence suite for custom image analysis including one developer, one architect, and two Cellenger licenses; and the Microphysiology Systems database (MPS-Db), implemented in Django and PostgreSQL, for the design, execution and interpretation of studies in microfluidic organ models.