Molecular Biology 

The Molecular Biology Core provides a wide range of services for precision analysis of DNA and RNA to assist in molecular biology projects within the CRUK Manchester Institute. We have developed a multitude of work flows for automated assay running and support scientists with high throughput instrumentation.

image of a lab


Clonal Sequencing Service

This comprehensive service aims to cover all aspects of clonal sequencing. An extensive portfolio of library prep methods for RNA and DNA sequencing is set up to cope with a wide range of input quantity and quality. The bulk of sample input is processed by automated work flows and most of the sequencing is performed on Illumina NGS instruments. In addition, we have also validated a number of applications on Oxford Nanopore platforms.

Agilent Bravo platform for NGS library prep


Loading Novaseq 6000 S4 flow cell


Sanger Sequencing

A 16 capillary system (ABI) has a throughput of up to 192 samples per day with turnaround times for processing usually in less than 24 hours.

Cell Line Authentication and Microbe Screening

To maintain the highest standards of experimental work the CRUK Manchester Institute encourages regular testing of cell lines for their authenticity and has a strict policy on Mycoplasma control. For correctly identifying cell lines MBCF provides a multiplex PCR assay which detects highly variable short tandem repeat regions in the genome. Prior to injection into mice all cell line samples must be screened for mycoplasma and Murine Hepatitis Virus (MHV). We therefore offer a regular screening service to facilitate compliance.

Thermofisher Quantstudio qPCR instruments


qPCR and digital PCR

MBCF provides 96-well and 384-well instruments (Thermofisher) for quantitative real-time PCR and houses a high precision robot (Eppendorf) for fast reagent dispensing. We also support an integrated fluid circuit (IFC) real-time PCR platform (Fluidigm) for high-throughput qPCR. In addition, a droplet digital PCR system (Bio-Rad) is installed for absolute quantitation of DNA or RNA.

Fluidigm Biomark HD for high throughput qPCR


Bio-Rad droplet digital PCR platform


Single Cell Genomics and Transcriptomics

A number of single cell transcriptomics protocols have been validated and adapted for miniaturised, high-throughput processing using FACS and automated plate handling. In addition, we support a range of technology platforms for integrated processing of hundreds to tens of thousands of single cells (10x Genomics).

10X Genomics Chromium Platform for single cell encapsulation and processing


Compound Library Service

The MBCF Compound Library Service supports scientists with bespoke sets of drug compounds for screening purposes. The liquid handling is performed by a Labcyte Echo550 acoustic dispenser. This is incorporated into the Access robotic platform that further integrates a plate centrifuge, a thermocycler (Inheco) as well as a microplate reader (BMG) for high throughput plate assaying.

The Labcyte Access platform incorporates the Echo550 Acoustic compound dispenser as well as a BMG microplate reader and Inheco thermocycler


Technology Platforms

Sanger Sequencing

Clonal Sequencing

Sample QC


Digital PCR

Single Cell Prep Systems

High Throughput Compound Handling

Infrared Imaging

Array Scanner