Discovery Technology

The UPDDI occupies a total of 7,275 sq. ft. of newly renovated laboratory space on the 9th floor of the Thomas Starzl Biomedical Science Tower (BST), including:

  • Individual wet laboratories containing facilities to propagate a wide variety of mammalian, insect and yeast cells:
    • A dedicated Liver Microphysiology Laboratory
    • A dedicated Metastatic Cancer Research Laboratory
      • with a dedicated quarantine area for mycoplasma detection, isolation, and remediation
    • A Laboratory dedicated to the Neurodegeneration Program activities and Collaborative Discovery Projects
    • A High Throughput Screening (HTS) and High Content Screening (HCS) facility
    • A dedicated room for protein production and molecular biology procedures
    • A chemicals/preparation room dedicated to reagent preparation, compressed gases storage, and HTS consumables storage.
  • Automated liquid handling systems:
    • Two bulk liquid dispensers
    • Four compound dilution and transfer systems
  • Detection instruments enabling running every kind of assay:
    • Multimode plate readers
      • Absorbance
      • Luminescence
  • Fluorescence intensity, time-resolved fluorescence, fluorescence polarization
    • Automated high-content microscope imaging platforms
    • Two Etaluma automated, incubated microscopes for online, long term monitoring of live cells in microfluidic devices
    • Two Olympus IX50 microscopes equipped with epiflouorescence and monochrome/color CCD cameras (video capable)
    • FujiFilm gel imager


Analysis of large and complex data sets is handled through a variety of LIMS and HTS/HCS analysis software on data servers hosted at UPitt’s secure, state of the art Network Operations Center (NOC) with 24/7 monitoring and redundant power and cooling systems. Active data are backup up daily and static data archived semiannually. The servers are connected via a state-of-the-art network.



 A unique resource at the UPDDI is the Microphysiological Systems Database (MPS-Db), which enables the design, execution, interpretation and management of studies in microfluidic organ models.  The MPS-Db is a shared data resource for the aggregation and analysis of microphysiology systems data from remote laboratories along with locally generated data.