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Chemistry Research Lab Facilities at the Cape Breton University

“The Clustermarket platform is much more user friendly and versatile than other platforms we have tried. The ability to set various rules for equipment and users makes managing the lab as a whole much more straightforward. Additionally, the calendar gives a clear overview of equipment availability, which allows the researcher to easily plan their experiments accordingly ” - Raj Kalia, Senior Research Associate and Instrument Tech (PT).

Lab profile

The Chemistry Research Lab Facilities are part of the Department of Chemistry at the Cape Breton University. They provide quantitative and qualitative analysis of complex compounds with an array of state-of-the-art equipment, including a UPLC-MSMS from Waters Corp, GC-MS/MS from Thermo Fisher Scientific, and a NMR from Bruker, in modern lab facilities for undergraduate and post-doc research levels.

  • Number of users: 40
  • Number of equipment: 18
  • Type of lab/facility: Analytical chemistry
  • Research area: Analytics, Compound determination
  • Location: Sydney, Canada
  • Previous system: FACES Scheduling System

Research

The research at the analytical and spectroscopy facilities at CBU focus on the analysis of drug compounds using UPLC-MS/MS; screening for potential drugs and chemicals by GC-MS/MS; structural studies using 400 MHz NMR; functional groups in biochar/bio-oil/extracts using FT-IR, FT-Raman spectrometers. Using TEM, they investigate nano-particles in drug loading; and synthesis of nano-structures and polymers for various applications.

Problem

With the analysis of compounds often being time sensitive, it was vital for the members of the facility to have clear oversight of equipment availability and usage schedules. Additionally, as members of the lab are of different experience levels, it was critical that they used a system which could enable multiple levels of access. It was necessary for CBU to implement a system that supported this as well as delivered a better user experience, ensuring it was straightforward for lab members to switch.

Solution

Clustermarket’s UI ensured the lab members and any visiting researchers at the Department of Chemistry at CBU could easily see equipment availability within the lab and book slots that would support their work. The platform also provided the ability to upload equipment specific documentation which was beneficial to the research that wanted additional support when using equipment. In addition to that, features such as trained vs. untrained users allowed different schedules to be set based on the individual users’ status. These are some of the features that supported the lab admins in having better management and control of their lab.

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References