Facility Overview and Equipment

Square Footage: 1392 square feet

Location: UNMC Main Campus

The University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) BSL-3 Core Facility was created to accelerate research with BSL-3 organisms such as COVID-19 while providing a secure and safe environment to improve health outcomes. This well-equipped BSL-3 Core Facility has 1392 square feet of space. Within this facility, there is a donning/dressing anteroom with pass-through lockers to the egress room, a sign-in room, a main biosecure corridor with an eyewash station and emergency shower, five individual working suites, two pass-through autoclaves, a doffing room with a sink for hand washing, a shower for optional use, and a sign-out area. In addition, lockers for storage of personal items are available for use in the main corridor.

Each of the five working suites in the UNMC BSL-3 Core Facility are equipped with standard molecular microbiology and tissue culture instrumentation. Each working suite has an annually certified biosafety cabinet, two stacked CO2 incubators, a refrigerator, a manual defrost -20°C freezer, an inverted microscope with camera, a computer with Wi-Fi access, a scanner, a refrigerated tabletop centrifuge with safety covers for the associated rotors, a refrigerated microcentrifuge, a minicentrifuge, a dual purpose water bathes with thermal beads, a vortexer, several carts, shelving and storage cabinets with bench top work areas, a clock, two to three non-cloth laboratory chairs, and a stepping stool.

The biosecure corridor in the UNMC BSL-3 Core Facility is adjacent to each working suite, and has shared equipment that includes two -80°C ultralow freezers with associated racks and storage boxes, one -150°C cyrofreezer with associated racks and storage boxes, flammable and acid/corrosive reagent storage cabinets, a microwave, and storage cabinets for extra supplies (i.e., PPE, paper towels, and biological indicators). This biosecure corridor also has a sink with an emergency eyewash station, a fire extinguisher, an emergency shower, and an emergency exit. Each working suite and the biosecure corridor have appropriate kits to clean up spills and broken materials, including sharp items, as well as extra PPE.

Each room in the UNMC BSL-3 Core Facility has a phone, including the entry room, biosecure corridor, each of the five working suites, and exit room. The phones have been preprogrammed to automatically dial the UNMC Security Dispatch, after selecting the button adjacent to the “SECURITY” tag. A portable transfer device, which is referred to as the “MegaMover”, is available for use if an individual requires assistance to be safely removed from the BSL-3 Core Facility. In the event of a power outage, the emergency lights in this core facility will be automatically activated, and all equipment plugged into red colored outlets will remain powered. Importantly, secondary containment (airflow/pressure) is maintained during a failure of an exhaust fan, a power outage, and/or a power restart.