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Engineering Creativity for Neuroscience

 

 

Museum of Equipments

 

There were many equipments developed and manufactured during the long history of Supertech Instruments. Most of them are out of date and they have been simply removed from this website as their newer versions have been introduced. They are not worth to mention any more. But there were a few really interesting, delicate or special equipments developed by Supertech Instruments. The list below is a short memorial of the obsolete, but most valuable development projects and products of our Factory.

 

 

Increasing-Temperature Hot-Plate

 

Our Increasing-Temperature Hot-Plate test equipment was designed for determining the pain threshold in rats or mice. The temperature is slowly increasing with variable heating rates from non-noxious levels until a response is observed or a cut-off temperature is reached. The response is the licking of the hindpaw, and the corresponding plate temperature represents the recorded nociceptive end-point. The advantage of Increasing-Temperature Hot-Plate test over the standard constant-temperature hot-plate test is the higher sensitivity (better in studying the analgesic effects of mild analgesics), and the lack of influences of pre-exposure to the hot-plate before testing.

 

The equipment was controlled by an IBM-compatible industrial standard PC through its standard Centronics (parallel) port. All the parameters were controlled by the program running on the computer. Moreover the cut-off temperature for safety's sake was controlled by the built-in microcontroller located in the Increasing-Temperature Hot-Plate equipment, too. A plexiglass box was placed on the top of the plate for possible clear observation of the animal.

 

            Click on the picture to get it in full size

 

    At an exhibition, with many other equipments

 

Technical data:

 

Heating elements: a delicate heater surface structure was developed especially to use in this equipment

 

Maximal temperature difference between the centre and the edge of the plate: 0.5 Centigrade

 

Heating rates: can be set from 1 Centigrade/min to 6 Centigrade/min, controlled by the PC software. The equipment can be used with higher heating rates (up to 12 Centigrade/min), but the temperature difference on the plate will be increased over the specified value in such cases

 

Cooling: contact heat dissipation

 

The size of the working surface: 200 mm x 150 mm

 

The height and the volume of the plexiglas box: 250 mm, 3 liters

 

Computer program: required an IBM-compatible PC running under MS Windows 98 (or higher) operating system

 

Starting temperature of the measurements: room temperature

 

Cut-off temperature (hardware, and firmware controlled): can be set from 30 Centigrade to 54 Centigrade

 

Cut-off temperature (controlled by the PC software): can be set from 30 Centigrade to 54 Centigrade

 

Supply specification: 200 - 240 V AC, or 100 -120 V AC (it should be specified in the order), 50 - 60 Hz

 

Power requirement: 100 W

 

Dimensions without the plexiglas box: 330 x 260 x 130 mm

 

Weight: 6 kg

 

References:

 

Hunskaar, S., Berge, O.G., Hole, K.: A modified hot-plate test sensitive to mild analgesics. Behav. Brain Res. 2: 101-108, 1986.

 

Tjolsen, A., Rosland, J.H., Berge, O.G., Hole, K.: The increasing-temperature hot-plate test: an improved test of nociception in mice and rats. J. Pharmacol. Methods 3: 241-250, 1991.

 

Almasi, R., Petho, G., Bolcskei, K., Szolcsanyi, J.: Effect of resiniferatoxin on the noxious heat threshold temperature in the rat: a novel heat allodynia model sensitive to analgesics. British Journal of Pharmacology, 139(1): 49-58, 2003.

 

 

Juxtacell BioAmp

 

This equipment was a further development of our universal biological BioAmp amplifier. This equipment was optimized for juxtacellular recording (extracellular single cell recording with simultaneous electrophoretic application of tracer solution onto the examined cell).

 

            Click on the picture to get it in full size

 

 

Analog Commander

 

Analog Commander was a very special, single-processor version of the BioStim Pulse Pattern Generator. It was designed to work as an analog command generator for Axopatch patch-clamp amplifiers, manufactured by Axon Instruments. Analog Commander had got microprocessor-based bipolar pulse pattern generator and calibrated analog voltage output controls (helipots).

 

        Click on the picture to get it in full size

 

 

Laser Heat Exchangers

 

This was a special product line of Supertech Instruments. The Laser Heat Exchangers were microprocessor-controlled cooling regulators for huge-power industrial lasers. They provided a volume-controlled, cold water flow to cool the lasers.

 

We have developed different Laser Heat Exchangers up to 50 kW. In the pictures you can see an example.

 

            Click on the picture to get it in full size

 

 

Lick Detector (Spout) for Monkey

 

This dual-channel spout equipment was used to provide two solution flows for a monkey to drink. The two spouts and their connection tubes were independent from each other. The geometry of the mouthpiece was optimized for monkeys. There was an optical detector in front of the spouts. The optical axle of the infrared beam was located below the spouts with 5 mm. The electronic box (not shown in the pictures) generated a standard TTL level of output pulse for every touches of the tongue.

 

Click on the picture to get it in full size

 

                                           

 

 

Simplified, Low-cost, General Purpose, 16-channel Data Acquisition Program

 

Supertech Scope was a simplified, low-cost, general purpose, 16-channel data acquisition program. The full bandwidth of the program was 100 kS/s, but it was limited by the A/D converter card itself, not by the software. The effective bandwidth for one channel could be calculated by division of the full bandwidth with the number of the A/D converter channels used actually. The Supertech Scope program could be used on PCI-1711 (PCI bus version), or PCL-812 (ISA bus version) data acquisition cards manufactured by Advantech.

 

There were 4-channel and the 16-channel A/D converter Front-end boxes for the Supertech Scope program. The copyright protection was provided by the Front-end boxes, because the program was not working without detecting a validated Front-end box.

 

 

Combined Heater for Brain Slice Chamber

 

This was a specially designed heating equipment to control the temperature of a brain slice chamber and the incoming solution flow together.

 

Click on the picture to get it in full size

 

                       

 

As you can see in the pictures, the plastic tube could be changed by the user in case of any dirt of infection.

 

With a stainless steel chamber the heat contact to the brain slice was perfect. We found that plexiglas, teflon or other plastic chambers could not be heated and controlled perfectly.

 

In this Combined Heater there was an internal temperature sensor, as well.

 

Later there were new equipments introduced into our product choice to substitute this Combined Heater for Brain Slice Chamber. These newer alternates are the In-line Solution Heaters.

 

 

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