FACILITIES AND EQUIPMENT

Disulfican's researchers have access to a wide range of facilities in house and in University of Wolverhampton's laboratories. Below we have highlighted a few of those key equipment  used for our research.

TISSUE CULTURE FACILITIES

Over the years, we have accumulated an extensive BioBank comprised of a wide range of cancer cell liens and primary patient derived cells from well-characterised sources. We also have a collection of normal epithelia, endothelial and fibroblasts cells from different tissues. We use these resources for

  • Identification of disease-related signalling and underlying molecular mechanisms of chemoreistance to current anticancer drugs. 

  • Conduct in vitro proof of concept testing and validation of Disulfiram formulations. 

  • Conduct screening assays for better combination strategies.

  • Provide support for preclinical experiments in in vivo tumour models.

IMAGING FACILITIES

The wide range of imaging facility available for Disulfican researchers enables them to capture real-time drug response or to get an in depth look on drugs effects on various cellular proteins to collect proof of concept data. In addition to various light microscopes we have

  • The Invitrogen™ EVOS™ Auto2 FL Cell Imaging System is an automated digital inverted microscope for 4-color fluorescent, transmitted-light, and colorimetric applications.

  • We also can use the on stage incubator and capture the response of cancer cells to drugs under different physiological concentrations of oxygen using fully confocal microscope for high resolution ts. 

  • We have a Zeiss LSM880 confocal microscope that captures finer details to the highest resolution and also capable of 3d imaging. 

HYPOXIA INCUBATORS

Disulfican's researchers have two dedicated hypoxia incubators and work stations that can be used to control levels of oxygen simulating the hypoxic microenvironment in tumours that leads to drug resistance and relapse. 

  • We study how our drug formulations could work better to tackle hypoxia induced resistance in comparison to currently used anticancer drugs. 

  • We also study how hypoxia changes the migration and invasion potential of tumour cells leading to metastasis. 

  • We can study changes in expression of various genes under hypoxia that drives resistance and metastasis in tumour cells.

MOLECULAR BIOLOGY

Our lab is fully equipped for performing all routine molecular biology experiments. We can carry out gene expression studies at DNA, RNA and protein levels. We can also carry out gene knock in and knock out studies and have a dedicated adenovirus laboratory. Disulfican's researchers routinely study the expression of genes related to tumour resistance, metastasis and relapse and test the effect of Disulfiram on various signalling mechanisms modulated by these genes in response to our drug.

FLOW CYTOMETER ANALYSER AND CELL SORTER

Disulfican's researchers work on special sub-population of cancer cells called cancer stem cells. At various points they need to identify, separate and sort these cells and study the ability of Disulfiram to reverse their resistance features. Our laboratory is equipped with a specialist cell sorter and routine flow analysers which enables our researchers to effectively study these cells. The machine is capable of analysing multiple populations simultaneously and also is capable of isolating single cells from the population which can be used to understand the effect of drugs on heterogenous tumour population.

HIGH PRESSURE HOMOGENISER

The first step in synthesizing a high quality nanoparticle is to achieve small and consistent particle size distribution. The high pressure homogenizer in Disulfican helps the researchers in production of nano/micro emulsions, dispersions, and suspensions; importantly, this equipment can achieve consistent particle sizes at or below 100 nm, a key benefit for synthesizing pharmaceutical products. Because of the significant amount of pressure imparted on the product, alongside the actions of mechanical forces, high pressure homogenizers enable synthesis of smaller particle sizes, which confers increased nanoparticle surface area and bioavailability. Particularly for drug delivery systems and other pharmaceutical purposes, these factors are key to an effective treatment.

CHROMATOGRAPHY FACILITIES

Disulfican researchers have access to extensive chromatographic and analytical facilities available at University of Wolverhampton including gas and liquid chromatography, coupled with mass spectrometry. We also have a dedicated HPLC for Disulfiram related work. These analytical equipment enables Disulfican's researchers to quantify the drug content loaded in our formulation. We also use this to assess the drug release profile both in vitro and in vivo which is the foundation for key pharmacology studies in animal models.