IMDEA Food headquarters are located in the old Main Building of the Cantoblanco Hospital since beginning of 2014. The building, ceded to the Institute by the Consejería de Educación y Empleo de la Comunidad de Madrid (the Education, Youth and Sport Council of the Madrid Region), is an excellent space in which to undertake scientific research. It is located next to the Cantoblanco Campus of the universidad Autónoma de Madrid with which the Institute has strong cooperative ties – within the grounds of the Cantoblanco University Hospital.
The building occupies an area of 4.595 m2 and is divided into two symmetrical main sections of five stories each that can house up to 100 researchers. It is equipped with laboratories of molecular and cellular biology P2, genomics and instrumental analysis, as well as facilities for clinical trials in humans.
Laboratory 1. Cell Culture Laboratory (Biosafety Level 2)
This Biosafety Level 2 laboratory allows research to be undertaken on a wide range of moderate risk agents. It is routinely used in experimentation on, and the maintenance of, cell cultures. It is equipped with incubators for maintaining cells under optimum growth conditions, laminar flow cabinets for working in sterile conditions, plus all the basic equipment needed for work on cell cultures, such as microscopes, water baths, centrifuges and cell counters. It also has a fluorescence microscope and a nucleoflector system, which are required in certain experiments. It has the latest equipment for analysis of metabolic activity (SeaHorse) apparatus, along with a fluorescence microscope and a nucleofector, a pressure reducer, an apparatus with micro-electric biosensors for cellular assays with real-time results and an analyzer with Luminex technology.
Laboratory 2. Genomics Laboratory
The Genomics Laboratory contains equipment required for genetic, genomic, transcriptomic and epigenetic analyses, etc. It is fitted with all the basic equipment required, such as thermocyclers for performing conventional PCR work, an ABI PRISM HT 7900 apparatus for real-time PCR, plus equipment for gene expression and high performance genotyping analysis, such as the latest generation uantStudioTM apparatus. The versatility of these systems allows analyses to be performed in different formats depending on the number of samples to be tested, from the use of 96-well plates through to chips capable of performing 3.072 genotyping reactions. These devices have different applications, such as digital PCR, DNA fragment analysis, expression/gene quantification analysis, allele discrimination using TaqMan probes, and the detection of SNPs and mutations, etc. The laboratory has a designated clean area for processing and extracting nucleic acids from samples originating from clinical trials.
Laboratory 3. Biochemical Instrumental Techniques Laboratory
This multifunctional laboratory is fitted with a range of small apparatuses for the preparation of reagents and solutions, plus more specific equipment for use in biochemical and molecular biological investigations, such as plate readers, a luminometer, a NanoDrop 2000 spectrophotometer, a SpeedVac sample concentrator, and an HPLC apparatus. It is divided into different areas where different echniques, such as Western blotting and agarose gel separations, and microbiological techniques for the cultivation and handling of bacteria, can be followed.
This is where the different research Groups undertake their normal laboratory work. Each Group has its own space equipped with benches and all the reagents and materials required for its research line. Predoctoral students and those undertaking laboratory experience also work in these areas. Fume cupboards are available for handling volatile compounds, there are cupboards for the storage of flammable products and acids etc., and freezers for preserving samples and reagents. The IMDEA Food installations also have a cold room, a freezing room, a dark room, a cooling and ultrafreezing room, and a cryopreservation tank.