Ophthalmic Therapeutics Engineering Core

The Ophthalmic Therapeutics Engineering Core provides essential resources to facilitate translational vision science and technology research for development of new therapies for ocular diseases. The Core supports instrumentation and technical expertise in molecular engineering required to characterize molecular nano-assemblies designed to carry drugs coupled with expertise in device engineering for their targeted delivery or direct therapeutic applications. The Core provides instrumentation and technical expertise for:

  1. Developing, characterizing and optimizing biological, chemical, or mechanical drug delivery systems
  2. Designing and fabricating custom devices and instruments that can improve or advance experimental procedures and research capabilities of investigators, particularly those involving delivery of therapeutics
  3. Training investigators on the utility and operation of available instrumentation for the design and characterization of therapeutic drug delivery vehicles and devices
  4. Consultations on the experimental design, appropriateness of the specific techniques, and integration of engineering techniques to escalate the progress of vision research projects

Core Faculty/Staff

Core Director: Andrew MacKay, PhD
Core Co-Director: Qifa Zhou, PhD

Core Staff:


Ocular Biochemistry Laboratory

  • Wet laboratory space
  • Cold room
  • Dry ice supply (weekly delivery)
  • Ice Machine
  • Thermo Fisher Flammable Materials Refrigerator/Freezer
  • Biosafety hoods and culture incubators
  • Beckman Coulter Microfuge Centrifuge
  • Li-Cor Odyssey Fc ChemiDoc XRS system (multicolor fluorescent imaging system capable of imaging direct chemiluminescence, chemi-fluorescence and densitometric analysis)
  • ChemiDoc XRS System (multicolor fluorescent imaging system capable of imaging direct chemiluminescence, chemi-fluorescence and densitometric analysis)
  • Life Technologies QuantStudio 6 Flext rt-qPCR
  • Particle Metrix ZetaView Particle Tracking Analyzer for hydrodynamic particle size, zeta potential and concentration analysis
  • Molecular Devices SpectraMax iD5 plate reader with application for absorbance, viability studies, DNA/RNA quantification, ELISA, fluorescence, HTRH, luminescence, reporter gene assays
  • Nanodrop One C
  • Agilent 1260 Infinity II analytical High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) equipped with an autosampler, UV-Vis multi-channel detector and fluorescence multi-channel detector
  • Temperature-controlled shaking bacterial incubator (MaxQ6000, Thermo-Scientific)
  • Ultra-low temperature freezer with liquid N2 backup (REVCO ULTIMA II -150°C)
  • Low temperature freezers (-80°C)
  • INTEGRA VIAFLO ASSIST Electronic Pipette for automated dispensing of reagents
  • De-ionized water system (Milli-Q)
  • Assorted preparative and analytical centrifuges
  • Microcentrifuges and other small equipment for biochemical and molecular biological analysis

Ocular Ultrasound Laboratory

  • Ultrasound high resolution elastographic system
  • Portable ultrasound vision systems
  • Verasonics Vantage 128 ultrasound system

Ex Vivo Testing Laboratory (available through the Institute for Biomedical Therapeutics)

  • Millennium surgical machine
  • Surgical microscope with video camera

Electronics Shop (available through the Institute for Biomedical Therapeutics)

  • Bose Electroforce 3100 mechanical measurement system
  • Keithley Electrometer 6517A
  • Tektronix TDS 5034B 4 channel storage oscilloscope
  • A-M System 2200 pulse generator
  • Agilent Precision LCR meter 4980A
  • Signatone Probe Station
  • Gamry Reference 600 and FAS1 Potentiostats
  • Princeton Applied Research 273A electrochemical potentiostat
  • Zwick Zwickiline (for Flexible Low-Force Testing) 500N
  • Power supplies, multi-meters, function generators

Machine Shop (available through the Institute for Biomedical Therapeutics)

  • Makerbot 3D printer with dedicated workstation
  • CAD software
  • Lathe, drill press, mill, and bandsaw

Nanobiophysical Core Laboratory (available through the USC NanoBiophysics Center)

  • Biacore T100 surface plasmon resonance (SPR) instrument
  • Size exclusion chromatography multiangle light scattering (SEC MALS) (Wyatt)
  • Spectrofluorometer QuantaMaster 4 (PTI) with time-resolved accessories
  • Nanoscope IIIa Atomic Force Microscope
  • MicroCal isothermal titration calorimeter (ITC)

School of Pharmacy Core Facilities (available through the USC School of Pharmacy Core)

  • 4 Liquid Chromatography Mass Spectrometers (LC-MS) electrospray systems
  • DynaPro2 (Wyatt)
  • Circular Dichroism Spectophotometer J-815 (Jasco)
  • Jobin Yvon Fluorolog-3 (Horiba)

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