AMTS architects and engineers are currently performing crucial work helping scientists in the discovery of coronavirus (COVID-19) features and behavior.
As part of the U.S. response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the lead scientist at the U.S. Department of Energy, Dr. Chris Fall, Director of the Office of Science, issued a letter to scientists and engineers throughout the country seeking advanced support to fight the virus.
In the letter, the U.S. Department of Energy explained the capabilities of resources in the DOE Electron Microscopy facilities and offered support to key universities, labs, and industries around the country.
Dr. Fall further noted in the letter that Electron Microscopes -- particularly Cryo Electron Microscopes (Cryo-EM) -- can be used and are currently being used to explore the coronavirus’ vulnerabilities, morphology, and real-time behavior in cells. This is achievable because cell activity can literally be "frozen in action" for inspection and measurement.
The DOE asked scientists and engineers to suggest ways the DOE could use such resources to solve the coronavirus problem from a technical and scientific standpoint. This includes imaging and characterization of the virus and its hosts to help develop vaccines, antidotes, and mechanical means of protection.
How AMTS is Supporting Research Efforts
Cryo Electron Microscopes, which the DOE mentioned as critical instruments for the coronavirus research, are the very instrument environments and tool installations that AMTS delivers to our customers. Specifically, we are providing Engineering, Architecture, Design, and QA/QC services to accommodate CRYO Electron Microscopy at a prestigious university’s research center for convergent bioscience right now!
AMTS has expertise supporting our clients in industry, government, and university laboratories in a wide variety of settings, including both renovations and new construction. Our goal is to ensure that our customers achieve the highest quality, most rapid results at the lowest cost from these advanced instruments and their sample preparation steps.
Achieving the desired outcome for using Cryo Electron Microscopes requires in-depth expertise. Cryo-EM instruments and their results are exceedingly sensitive to environmental interference from temperature drift, humidity drift, electromagnetic interference, vibration, and acoustical noise, as well as voltage and current deviations in the electrical systems powering these microscopes. AMTS provides Architecture, Structural, and MEP Engineering designs that we have perfected over many years to abate these disturbances and control the EM and Prep Lab room atmosphere.
The designs are continuously improved by our team with feedback from users and instrument manufacturers. The typical design includes:
- Highly adjustable LED lighting.
- Uninterruptible power systems with power conditioning.
- EMI shielding and active compensation.
- Chilled beams with no condensation risk.
- Advanced HVAC controls.
- HVAC and air ducts with low acoustical noise.
- Specialized foundations and slabs to abate vibration and EMI.
- Clean and acoustically quiet floors, walls, doors, and ceilings.
AMTS also developed highly-specialized layouts for the lab and MEP spaces, allowing researchers to remote view as well as adjust the microscope and image data flow in highly convenient ways.
Lending Our Expertise to Cryo EM Facility Design
AMTS has designed Cryo EM rooms and prep labs for universities and facilities around the world that are now in use. This includes the UConn Innovation Partnership Building, MIT.nano, KAUST, Georgia Tech, UC Irvine IMRI, and many other facilities.
Our team members, including Engineering Management, Senior Architects, Lab Planners, Mechanical Engineers, and Electrical Engineers, are some of the world’s leading experts in designing these specialized laboratories that include highly-complex tool hookup for multi-million dollar Electron Microscopes.
The typical Cryo EM facility that our company has designed for customers supports the primary mission of an Advanced Electron Microscopy Facility -- particularly one studying biological samples -- to develop techniques for preserving cellular structure with the highest degree of reliability.
These techniques involve different methods for rapidly freezing samples in order to halt structural and biochemical activity in a very short timeframe, thus preserving structure in the "live" state. Once the sample is preserved in the "live" state, it is then possible to study the ultrastructure of these samples using state-of-the-art techniques such as Cryo EM techniques.
Pleased to Support U.S. Coronavirus Research Efforts
We are confident that our team’s expertise, knowledge, and team-oriented approach to supporting biological research will help our country’s scientific efforts to fight the coronavirus.
“Our team understands the critical components of electron microscopy, including the installation and use of lab tools that require highly-sensitive environments,” says Abbie Gregg, AMTS Chief Technology Officer. “We’ve appreciated the opportunity to participate in the design of several DOE labs, which enable the Electron Microscopy capabilities of the DOE described by Dr. Fall as those supporting this critical research mission.”
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- Contact us today to inquire about utilizing our high-tech design and construction services to support your university research project.