Biolab facility



The ICN2 Biolab is a transversal facility that provides scientific advice and hands-on training in the field of Cell Biology, Microbiology and Molecular Biology, as well as technical support to conduct basic and applied research activities involving living organisms (cells/cell lines, microorganisms), potentially infectious material (blood, tissues, bodily fluids, clinical specimens), and other biological material (proteins, nucleic acids, microbial toxins). The use of the Biolab Facility is open to all ICN2 groups (internal users) and to the surrounding research community (external users). Its central goal is to facilitate the pursuit of research at the interface of Nanotechnology and Life Science in a successful and safe way. The ICN2 Biolab is a Biosafety Level 2 laboratory (BSL-2) and complies with the legal requirements for activities with biological agents up to risk group 2. Therefore, all work performed in the Biolab must be done after appropriate training following BSL-2 guidelines. The specific support provided by the Biolab Facility includes:

  • Access to the BSL-2 laboratory and instrumentation. Assistance, technical supervision and user training to ensure proper and safe use of available equipment.
  • Scientific and technical management, consultation and support in experimental design, implementation and analysis.
  • Technical and basic instruction (hands-on training) in cell and tissue culture experimentation, and in molecular biology and microbiology techniques.
  • Performance of experimental procedures by the technical staff of the facility.
  • Development of protocols, guidelines, operating procedures, reports and management of the required mandatory documentation.
  • Assistance with administrative tasks related to legal aspects of biosecurity and biosafety.
  • General maintenance of the laboratory including cleaning, waste disposal, sterilization and disinfecting procedures and provision of supplies (disposable lab ware, sterile consumables and solutions, etc.)

ICN2 Biolab Facility 1

The Biolab Facility aims to be flexible and open to short-term or long-term (temporary) changes. All researchers are welcome to discuss possible adaptations of the Biolab with the facility leader who will try to address special needs and arrangements.

Description of the facility

ICN2 Biolab Facility 2The Biolab is a designated Biosafety Level 2 (BSL-2) laboratory of 36m2, distributed between the laboratory and a decontamination transfer chamber (Safety Access System, SAS). Access to the Biolab is separated from the free-circulation corridor by the SAS room where personnel must leave their street clothes and personal belongings and put on available protective clothes and equipment (PPE). The transfer chamber has an interlock safety system that prevents simultaneous opening of the inner and outer doors, and access is restricted to authorized personnel by fingerprint.

The installation has been designed in accordance with UNE-EN 12128 standard with appropriate materials and construction ensuring adequate containment and robustness. The ventilation system is designed to generate negative pressure both in the work laboratory and in the SAS and consists of a 50W fan that drives air through type H5 and M14 filters. The extraction system consists of a 450W fan with an EC motor and a type H14 HEPA filter. The laboratory is equipped with an O2 detector (measuring range 0% - 5% Vol) and a CO2 detector (measuring range 0% - 25% Vol), both mounted on the surface, including a control unit with an alarm.

The Biolab Facility has two disinfection systems for regular and emergency decontamination of the laboratory: one based on UV lamps equipped with a germicidal emitter, and another decontamination system using hydrogen peroxide (VHP).

The laboratory has two distinctive zones each with its own equipment, one dedicated to work with microorganisms (bacterium, virus, parasite, fungi) and one dedicated for cell culture work. It is located in spaces 2091 and 2093 of laboratories on the second floor of the main building of ICN2.

ICN2 Biolab Facility 1

funded by FEDER and Generalitat

The ICN2 Biolab Facility has received funds from the CENanoTech project (2015 FEDER/S-16). In turn, the CENanoTech project is funded through the call for unique institutional R&D infrastructures launched by the Universities and Research Secretariat of the Regional Ministry of Economy and Knowledge of the Government of Catalonia, with funding received from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) under the Operational Programme Catalonia 2014-2020. The project has also been co-funded by the Severo Ochoa Programme, granted by the back then Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (SEV-2013-0295).

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