The equipment platform and software provide a multi-use data collection system for research and commercial assays. It utilizes a programmable 3D micro-positioning system, a real time data collection system and a video microscopy system. Variability of use, low cost, and user friendliness are the prime concerns in the development process. This platform is designed to grow with the user and remain useable for a long period of time. Other commercially available devices such as potentiostats, voltage or patch clamps can be integrated into the platform without software changes, although custom programming can be provided.
We have developed a computer-controlled, scanning microelectrode measurement system for use in conductive solutions. Commercially available or home-made microelectrodes will work with the system hardware and software.
The SIET (Scanning Ion-selective Electrode Technique) can measure ion concentrations down to picomolar levels but they must be measured slowly at around 0.5 to 1 second per point. This is mainly due to the mechanical disturbance of the gradient by the electrode movement, although the time constant of the LIX (Liquid Ion Exchanger) electrodes is also a factor. It takes a fraction of a second to reestablish the gradient again. LIX electrodes also have time constants in tenths of seconds (LIX dependent, see LIX specs). The electrode is stepped from one position to another in a defined sampling routine while being scanned with the 3D micro-stepper motor manipulator (CMC-4). Setup is the same as above except an ion headstage or Polarographic head stage is substituted for the vibrator assembly and signals fed to an IPA-2 amplifier instead of the PSDA-2 amplifier. Note that SIET/SPET scans can be alternately done with SVET/SLEIS scans with two 3D stepper motor manipulator and 2 CMC-4 systems.
DVIT (Differential Video Imaging Technique) is an in situ technique for locating sites of corrosion on a metal surface. A color CCD camera is used to acquire a series of images of the surface. By using our proprietary algorithms to analyze small differences between these images, sites of corrosion initiation may be identified and characterized. DVIT is, then, a difference imaging method.