The Infrastructure for Materials Research extensively brings together the Faculty of Science and Forestry’s materials research devices from the Joensuu and Kuopio campuses. The research areas catered for by the infrastructure include photonics and the related spectral colour research, materials chemistry and technology, structural biology, biomaterials, nanomaterials and musculoskeletal disorders.
The infrastructure for materials chemistry involves equipment for diverse and high level of spectroscopic, electron microscopic and diffractive analysis, surface structure manufacturing, surface structure and composition analysis, measurement of materials’ mechanical, physical and chemical properties, and computing systems of more than 2500 CPUs for demanding scientific computing. The core of the photonics infrastructure is built around the 300 m2 clean room laboratory, including the electron-beam lithography laboratory and the optical measurement and characterisation laboratories. The spectral colour research laboratory is one of the most well-equipped laboratories in its field, featuring high-level devices for spectral measurements and spectral imaging.
The areas of expertise of the infrastructure unit SIB Labs cover imaging and (bio)materials research. This includes, e.g., electron microscopy (SEM, TEM), optical microspectroscopy (FTIR, Raman) and X-ray tomography (microCT), through which SIB Labs is linked to the Bioimaging Infrastructure of the Faculty of Health Sciences, and it constitutes part of Biocenter Kuopio and Biocenter Finland, the nationwide research infrastructure in biomedicine.
As regards nanomaterials, research focuses on precision medicine, metal adsorbtion and research addressing nanomaterials developed into chemicals for batteries and water purification. The key pieces of equipment pertain to, e.g., thermal analytics and X-ray diffraction. The FunktioMat Laboratory enables gas phase synthesis of nanomaterials on a pilot scale.
The Structural Biology Centre constitutes part of the infrastructure network in structural biology of Biocenter Kuopio and Biocenter Finland. The centre is also part of the European INSTRUCT-ERIC consortium. Through its linkage with INSTRUCT, the Structural Biology Centre is also included in Finland’s Roadmap for Research Infrastructures 2014-2020.
The key pieces of equipment of the Structural Biology Centre, FTICR mass spectrometer and protein diffractometer, allow for precise mass measurements of even large proteins and crystal analysis of their three-dimensional structures, as well as composition analysis of complex compounds, such as bio-oils. The pieces of equipment offer extremely versatile opportunities for high-level research in the fields of biotechnology, the bioeconomy and biomedicine.
The Infrastructure for Musculoskeletal Disorders Research brings together the sets of equipment available in the Faculty of Science and Forestry, and in the Faculty of Health Sciences on the Kuopio Campus.
At the Department of Applied Physics, the Infrastructure for Musculoskeletal Disorders Research includes a low-field magnetic resonance imaging device for clinical measurements, a motion laboratory, a high-resolution biomechanical testing device for the study of bone and soft and hard tissue, a scanning acoustic microscope (SAM), and modelling software. The set of equipment of the infrastructure unit SIB Labs and Kuopio University Hospital are also available.
The Infrastructure for Musculoskeletal Disorders Research constitutes part of the research area addressing musculoskeletal disorders, and is thus strongly linked with the Kuopio Musculoskeletal Research Unit (KMRU) at the Faculty of Health Sciences. The unit also constitutes part of Biocenter Kuopio and Biocenter Finland.
The Infrastructure for Materials Research makes services relating to its methods and expertise available to research groups and industrial partners. The infrastructure’s over 20-million-euro set of equipment is available either directly via the participating units, or via SIB Labs, which carries out more extensive marketing of the infrastructure.