The program’s mission is to provide resources and expertise in expanding interest in studying the extracellular matrix (ECM) biology. Our long-term goals for the program are to carry out cutting-edge research in biomedical science and foster growth of new and established investigators.

The biological role played by matrix protease in lung diseases, vascular problem, cancer and autoimmune disorder is being investigated. The objective of this program is to more fully understand the interplay of the dynamic nature of the ECM in both health and disease.

The program is led by Dr. Amit Gaggar (Program Director) and coordinated by Dr. Xin Xu (Program Associate Director). The program is a biomedical research hub for a wide variety of research projects on UAB campus and throughout the world. The program consists of physicians, academic scientists, and clinical collaborators to conduct active research protocols. The program is currently supported by more than 6 NIH grants as well as funding from other government agencies (i.e. VA) and various Foundations (i.e. ATS, AHA and CF foundation).

The program provides state-of-the-art equipment and technical support for biomedical research. It is equipped with a Flexivent (SCIREQ, Montreal, QB, Canada), smoking machine and chambers (SCIREQ “InExpose” smoking system, SCIREQ, Montreal, QB, Canada), NanoSight, cytokine multiplex Luminex machine, NanoString GeoMx DSP ,and constructs for the study of matrix tensility. The program provides services at four levels: consultation and experimental design, training clients to use instruments by themselves, running experiments for clients and data analysis, and collaboration. If you are interested in touring Program facility (BBRB808), using the equipment, or visiting with program about potential projects, please contact Dr. Gaggar at agaggar@uabmc.edu or Dr. Xu at xinxu@uabmc.edu.

Luminex multiplex MAGPIX machine: Luminex multiplex assays are driven by xMAP technology, designed to simultaneously detect and quantitate multiple secreted proteins (e.g., cytokines, chemokines, and growth factors) or expressed genes. Luminex xMAP technology combines advanced fluidics, optics, and digital signal processing with proprietary microsphere technology to deliver multiplexed assay capabilities. The MAGPIX instruments utilize analyzers based on the principles of fluorescent flow cytometry or quantitative fluorescent microscopy. The Millipore Milliplex MAP Assay Products, Invitrogen ProcartaPlex and QuantiGene Plex assays are compatible with MAGPIX instrument platforms.

SCIREQ “InExpose” smoking system (SCIREQ, Montreal, QB, Canada): This compact inhalation exposure ( inExpose ) is designed to operate under a standard fume hood, and distinguishes itself by its compact size and high level of integration. Its modularity and integration permits both nose-only and/or whole body exposure of rodents, as well as automated generation of cigarette smoke and aerosols. The small form factor reduces direct and indirect costs, and low internal volumes also minimize unintended dilution of precious compounds.

Flexivent (SCIREQ, Montreal, QB, Canada): The flexiVent is widely regarded as the gold standard for in vivo lung function measurements. It goes beyond traditional resistance and compliance measurements, and captures crucial details about the mechanical properties of conducting airways, terminal airways and parenchyma. The flexiVent achieves the highest sensitivity and reproducibility by precisely controlling experimental conditions.

GeoMx DSP (NanoString , Seattle, WA) : The GeoMx DSP workflow seamlessly integrates with current histology methods to get you robust and reproducible spatial omics data quickly. Stain for RNA or Protein from FFPE or fresh frozen tissue sections, precisely select which tissue compartments or cell types you want to profile based on the biology, and readout expression levels using either the nCounter Analysis System or an Illumina sequencer.

NanoSight (Nanotechnology Ltd, UK) : NaoSight instrument is designed and manufactured by NanoSight Ltd for the scientific analysis of nanoparticles that are between approximately ten nanometers (nm) and one micron (μm) in diameter. NanoSight instruments are used for a variety of applications, including:

· Ceramic and metallic nanoparticles

· Pigments, paints and sun creams · Exosomes, microvesicles, outer membrane vesicles, and other small biological particles

· Pharmaceutical particles - liposomes

· Viruses

· Carbon nanotubes (multi-walled)

· Colloidal suspensions and polymer particles

· Cosmetics and foodstuffs

· Particles in fuels and oils (soot, catalyst, wax etc.)

· Wear debris in lubricants

· Chemical Mechanical Polishing Slurries

· Nanotoxicology studies

Others: Cell culture system, Isoflurane Drager Vapor 2000, Microplate Reader (SYNERGY H1) , CytoFLEX S (Beckman Coulter), Sorvall WX80 Plus Ultracentrifuge (Thermo Fisher Scientific, Maximum speed 80,000 rpm), RT-PCR machine.