Facilities & Equipment
In 2006-2007, the Toxicology Centre underwent significant expansion and renovation resulting in state-of-the art research facilities for analytical, aquatic, biochemical, environmental, mechanistic, radiation, and wildlife toxicology research from molecular to ecosystem level. The flagship of the expansion is the Aquatic Toxicology Research Facility, a 7,100 sq-ft laboratory, which is the first of its kind in Canada and one of only a few similar research resources worldwide. It was specifically designed with areas provided with different water qualities and temperatures ranging from 6-45 degrees C to perform both static and dynamic toxicological experiments with algae, crustaceans, insects, clams, amphibians or fish as large as 10 kg. New in-house research facilities also include five walk-in controlled-environment chambers, four with purified water supplies for conducting both acute and chronic aquatic toxicity tests with several species of freshwater invertebrates, small fish, and algae, and an analytical laboratory for water quality analysis.
To directly investigate toxic effects of polluted waters on fish and other aquatic organisms in the field, a mobile trailer artificial stream system is being developed for the Toxicology Centre.
Our brand new laboratories are equipped with prime instrumentation to detect organic and inorganic chemicals and metabolites toxic to wildlife and humans. Analyical techniques involve gas (AutoSpec S High Resolution gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometer, Agilent Quadrupole GC/MS systems) and liquid (Quadrupole T-o-F Mass Spectrometer, SCIEX ZTriple Quadrupole LC/MS/MS, Quadrupole LC/MS, DIONEX Ion Chromatography systems, HPLC) chromatography, UV/visible spectrophotometry, atomic absorption spectrophotometry (AAS), inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS), to name but a few. Instrumentation is specifically being used for the analysis of dioxins, perfluorinated compounds, drugs, personal care products, hormones, pesticides, herbicides, metals, and natural toxins.
The biochemistry and molecular facilities are capable of doing just about any type of biochemistry and molecular work used on the toxicology field. They have the equipment (centrifuges, water baths, incubators, etc.) and capacity to run anything from gel electrophoresis and western blotting to ELISA's and enzyme activity (EROD, MROD and Aromatase).