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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/V034251/1
Title: Exeter Biomaterials Optical Characterisation Suite - EBOC
Principal Investigator: Gow, Professor N
Other Investigators:
Beardmore, Professor RE Chen, Dr J Vollmer, Professor F
Palombo, Professor F
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Biosciences
Organisation: University of Exeter
Scheme: Standard Research - NR1
Starts: 14 November 2020 Ends: 13 May 2022 Value (£): 632,086
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Analytical Science Biomaterials
Biophysics Materials Characterisation
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Healthcare Pharmaceuticals and Biotechnology
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
29 Sep 2020 Core Equipment Award 2020 - Panel 2 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Maintaining cutting-edge research facilities and specialised technical support are central to the University of Exeter's strategy for providing an infrastructure which underpins world-leading (4*) research. Exeter has invested heavily in academic appointments and research facilities to increase the volume and quality of EPSRC facing research. The items of equipment requested in this proposal were selected via a strategic process for maintaining, upgrading and replacing key research assets that our EPSRC funded academics rely upon. The three items, E1, E2 and E3 collectively greatly increase our capability in undertaking research in biomaterials, optical technology and imaging.

E1: 'A new Raman microscope to underpin cross-disciplinary research and education'

This microscope will replace an essential item of equipment that is used by many EPSRC funded research groups across the University. It is a Raman microscope with dual laser source (532 and 785 nm) and tailored low-wave number notch filters to support applications in THz Raman and extend the Brillouin region. It is a fully enclosed microscope and includes a top stage incubation system for live cell imaging, enabling applications in Analytical Science, Biophysics, Bioengineering, Life Sciences, Healthcare Technologies, as well as Metamaterials. It will foster interdisciplinary research into innovative and potentially disruptive technological capabilities e.g. in bio/soft materials and nanomaterials that will drive world-leading research in the health & life sciences and 2D materials.

E2: 'Research-grade HORIBA Fluorescence and UV-Vis-NIR Spectrophotometer'

This item represents a strategic investment for our College of Engineering Mathematics and Physical Sciences, College of Life and Environmental Sciences and our Living Systems Institute. This item is a fluorescence and absorbance spectrometer that can be used as a fluorimeter, as a UV-Vis-NIR spectrometer to measure absorbance, or as an instrument that measures true molecular fingerprints, which require the acquisition of fluorescence and absorbance. Applications are in the areas of Physics, Chemistry, Life Sciences, Materials Research, Food Science, Earth Sciences. It will help solve problems within the growing UK high-tech industry sectors of biotechnology, pharmacology and optical systems. For example, the spectrophotometer will speed up the experimentation and validation cycles in smart nanoparticle sensor development.

E3: 'Ultra-High Resolution 3D Digital Microscope for Metamaterial and Biomaterial Research in Engineering, Physics and Medicine'

This item will provide an essential tool for imaging and characterisation for biomaterial, metamaterial and nanomaterial research. It complements existing Exeter imaging facilities by bridging experiments from the millimetre scale to the micrometre scale, with analysis into sub-micron regimes. This item is a 4K Ultra-High Accuracy 3D Digital Microscope, providing ultra-high resolution imaging and filming capacities, comparable to desktop scanning electron microscopes but with easier access and lower maintenance. Its advantages include 6000x magnification, automatic 3D morphology imaging and stitching, large fields of view, time-lapse filming, polarised light sources and the capability of in-situ testing. It will help address challenging problems in healthcare technologies, advanced manufacturing, nanotechnology, renewable energy, and biophysics systems.

Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
Sectors submitted by the Researcher
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Organisation Website: http://www.ex.ac.uk