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Laboratory Research Equipment Program (LREP)

NC State's faculty, staff and students require access to a range of instrumentation, equipment, facilities, software and databases in order to conduct the world-class research that is expected at a major research university. While extramural support for the acquisition and development of research instruments is available from a wide variety of public and private sources, NC State's Laboratory Research Equipment Program (LREP) aims to supplement these sources with university funds since many external funding opportunities are poorly matched to specific, lower-cost needs.

Program Highlights

The LREP is not intended to support the equipment needs of units within NC State’s network of Shared Core Research Facilities. Instead, this program is intended to support the acquisition, repair and/or replacement of shared equipment that may be located and maintained in NC State service centers, departments, colleges, centers and institutes, etc.

Funding Amount

The Office of Research and Innovation sets aside $100,000 for this program. The maximum award for LREP-funded equipment is $25,000 per proposal. A one-to-one cash match is required.

Program Timeline

Note: This program is currently closed for FY25. Dates for the 2022 cycle (FY23) of the LREP program are outlined below:

  • Proposal deadline: September 6, 2022 by 11:59 p.m., via InfoReady Review
  • Proposals awarded: October 2022
  • Year-end report for awarded proposals: October 2023
  • One-year update report for awarded proposals: October 2024

LREP Documents

Previous Awards

Acquisition of a Foss FoodScan 2 Meat Analyzer for Meat Quality and Composition Analysis

  • Yan Campbell, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
  • The Foss FoodScan 2 Meat Analyzer is a Near-Infrared Spectrometer that analyzes proximate composition and provides sensitive quantitation of the protein, fat, collagen, moisture, and ash content for any meat products, as well as potentially solid dairy and semi dairy products.

Point of Care Imaging Device to Evaluate Skeletal Health of Poultry

  • Allison Pullin, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
  • We aim to acquire a point of care imaging device to evaluate skeletal health in poultry that would be located and maintained in the Prestage Department of Poultry Science. The MasterRad A6 handheld portable high frequency generator produces X-rays, and the X-rays are captured and analyzed using the Pinnacle Digital Radiography Flat Panel Detector and Voyance Acquisition and Processing Software. 

Wireless MultiChannel Point of Care Imaging Device to Evaluate Skeletal Health of Poultry

  • Nitin Sharma, College of Engineering,
  • We propose acquiring electrophysiology equipment for modeling and controlling neuroprosthetic devices that modulate the spinal cord and the peripheral nervous system. The electrophysiological equipment was purchased from Tucker-Davis Technologies. TDT’s electrophysiology products can flexibly and continuously stimulate and record from the brain and spinal cord.

Microaerophillic Workstation for Interdisciplinary Research on Microaerophillic/Anaerobic Microorganisms

  • Lin Walker, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
  • A microaerophilic workstation creates a low oxygen environment (0-5%) that allows oxygen-sensitive microorganisms to survive and grow. It is an enclosed chamber with variable sizes to accommodate different workloads. Researchers can put their arms inside the workstation to work with and cultivate microaerophilic and anaerobic bacteria without exposing them to oxygen. The workstation uses a gas mixture of H2 and N2 or N2/CO2/H2 to reduce oxygen below 5%.

Nanopore DNA Sequencer for Rapid Characterization of Microbial Communities

  • Douglass Call, College of Engineering
  • This project will provide NC State researchers with the capability to conduct rapid, high-throughput sequencing of microbial DNA and RNA. The information obtained from the nanopore DNA/RNA sequencer will help researchers identify pathogens in drinking water, assess the spread of disease by monitoring wastewater, and optimize biological treatment processes that protect human and environmental health. The small size and portability of the technology will allow researchers to sequence DNA/RNA at field sites around the world.

Variable Temperature Stage for Spectroscopic Ellipsometer

  • Abay Dinku, College of Sciences
  • The LREP funding will support the Organic and Carbon Electronics Laboratories (ORaCEL) to purchase a controlled environment chamber for a state-of-the-art variable angle spectroscopic ellipsometer (VASE). The VASE is a highly versatile tool to measure the properties of thin films including their thickness, complex refractive indices. The chamber will greatly enhance the VASE capabilities by finely controlling the sample temperature allowing for thermal property characterization such as the coefficient of thermal expansion, and glass transition temperature. The tool will be applied toward the development of low-cost, flexible, and printable functional thin film technologies including photovoltaics, spintronics, and sensors.

Acquiring a Nanodrop 2000c spectrophotometer that is critical for quantitative nucleic acid, protein, and cell culture analysis for plant genetic transformation/gene editing

  • Kedong Da, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
  • The Plant Transformation Lab (PTL) at NC State collaborates with faculty and staff, as well as the global plant research community, to investigate complex hypotheses utilizing cutting edge plant transformation technology, gene editing, and more. PTL develops and implements methodologies for timely improvements of desirable crop characteristics. This technology will benefit both growers and consumers alike by developing crops with improved nutritional profiles, higher yield, and resistance to stress and various diseases.

Repair of GCR 270 Nd-YAG laser manufactured by Spectra-Physics Lasers

  • Jagannadham Kasichainula, College of Engineering
  • The GCR 270 Nd-YAG laser was acquired in 2000 and is in need of repair as it is used by faculty across NC State as well as outside users. LREP funds will be used to repair and replace key laser components.

Using Malaise traps to further research and student engagement in arthropod diversity and biomass sampling

  • Elsa Youngsteadt, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
  • Malaise traps are a passive sampling device used to evaluate insect biodiversity and biomass. A set of Malaise traps will advance multiple research and education programs in ecology and entomology, with focal projects assessing effects of urban land use on insect biomass. The traps will also facilitate research that assesses pest abundance, effects of prescribed fire, and long-term change in insect communities throughout the state. 

High temperature differential scanning calorimeter (DSC) to enhance NCSU’s materials and nuclear fuels examination research and education

  • Ge Yang, College of Engineering
  • The proposed high-temperature DSC equipment allows researchers to conduct important high-accuracy thermal-physical measurements, from room temperature to 1600 C, on a wide range of materials including ceramics, metallic materials, semiconductors, shape memory alloys, inorganic glasses, concretes and polymers. Such infrastructure enhancement puts NC State in a very unique position to provide complete temperature coverage from low-temperature to high-temperature for DSC measurements, thus largely benefiting the university’s research programs.

Digital image correlation equipment for large-scale structural testing of critical infrastructure

  • Giorgio Proestos, College of Engineering
  • In conducting structural engineering research, carefully measuring how members strain when subjected to forces is critical in being able to understand load carrying mechanisms, the mechanics of complex systems, and to validate analytical tools used to predict member response. This project involves utilizing 3D Digital Image Correlation (DIC) equipment for large-scale testing of critical infrastructure. The technology will be used to better understand load carrying mechanisms in structures built from traditional materials, such as concrete and steel, and will be used to help advance the development of new materials, such as carbon composites.

Imaging system for the acquisition and analysis of biomolecular data

  • Michael Sikes, College of Sciences
  • This project will bring state-of-the-art digital imaging to the researchers and students in Thomas and Gardner Halls. The Li-COR Odyssey has long been the gold standard of molecular imaging, and will provide the ability to quantitatively and affordably image gels, blots, cells, tissues and even small organisms. With matching support from the departments of Biological Sciences and Plant and Microbial Biology, the LREP-funded purchase of the Li-COR Odyssey will help maintain the excellence in research and teaching for which these departments are known.

A refrigerated, shaking, platform incubator for high throughput induction experiments

  • Albert Keung, College of Engineering
  • Acquisition of a refrigerated shaking platform incubator with high capacity and flexible culture formats will enable high throughput approaches in a number of protein engineering, molecular biology, and cell biology projects. Such experiments will accelerate the pace of research and elevate the type of research performed to be competitive with the international trends towards high throughput and high capacity in many fields of biology.

Acquisition of a fluorescent microscope for evaluating biotextiles and biopolymers

  • Jessica Gluck, College of Textiles
  • A fluorescent microscope is a vital piece of equipment for analyzing the interaction of biological material with biotextiles. The Wilson College of Textiles faculty plan to use the newly acquired fluorescent microscope in the ever-expanding field of medical and biotextiles.

A profilometer for Characterization of film topology

  • Abay Dinku, College of Sciences
  • Co-PIs: Harald Ade, Daniel Dougherty, Kenan Gundogdu, Divine Kumah and Dali Sun, College of Sciences; Brendan O’Connor, College of Engineering

A novel confocal rheometer for uncovering accurate, real-time structure-property relationships in soft and biological materials

Lilian Hsiao, College of Engineering

Acquisition of a carbon coating system for high-resolution electron

  • Yang Liu, College of Engineering
  • Co-PIs: James LeBeau and Elizabeth Dickey, College of Engineering

Acquiring a nanodrop spectrophotometer that is critical for quantitative nucleic acid analysis

  • John Meitzen, College of Sciences
  • Co-PIs: Benjamin Reading, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences; Russell Borski and Heather Patisaul, College of Sciences

Physiological cell culture workstation

  • Giuseppe Valacchi, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Acquisition of an FPLC for purification of biological macromolecules

  • Gavin Williams, College of Sciences