EPSRC Core Equipment 2020 - Lancaster University

Lead Research Organisation: Lancaster University
Department Name: Vice-Chancellor's Office


The two pieces of apparatus sought under this funding call are i): Cell Sorter apparatus and ii) A Graphical Processing Unit (GPU).

i) The Cell Sorter provides the capability to sort and separate cells and particles individually from complex heterogeneous mixtures such as blood or a homogeneous population of non-biological particles in materials science with specific properties from complex particulate mixtures. The apparatus has become an essential element or enabling technology for several broad research areas. The novelty of the apparatus is that hitherto the means to achieve these kinds of separation were complex and technically difficult and actually often were the main research goals in their own right. This apparatus however, facilitates relatively simply and quickly and without requirements for advanced user skills to operate the equipment, state of the art sorting capability. The simplicity of use of the apparatus will allow non-specialist users to access the technology and so open up the possibilities of a number of new research projects. Thus physicists and engineers who would not normally have the background in biological separation techniques will be able to prepare cell types for study using their specialist techniques and interests. As an example specific artificial subtratum-cell interactions that underlie the development of sterile healthcare materials will be greatly enabled by such capabilities. This technology, therefore, will greatly expand the possibilities of the potential user base and so be of value to a wide range of EPSRC researchers improving their research efficiency and productivity and making more effective use of staff time.

ii) Graphical Processing Units (GPU) will enhance the university's capacity for computationally demanding research in many research areas. They are required to address the computationally demanding tasks associated with Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning and Data Science. These areas are central pillars of the current UKRI Strategic Priorities that are critical to the development of the UK's world-leading data-driven economy, digital society within a trusted cyber-secure environment. There are developments in each of these in all faculties at Lancaster (see eg. https://www.lancaster.ac.uk/dsi/ ) with clear impacts in the Digital Economy priority (among others) at EPSRC.


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