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Rates and Support

Instrument Hourly Rates

Weekdays 9am to 5pm, without assistance from center staff:


(E): EPR 500, EPR 580; (F): Eclipse, TCSPC-DWR, TR2F, FLTPR Bottom-Read; (P): J815, Gemini; (M): Spectramax, UMN TPA, Nikon

After hours (weekdays 5pm to 9am and weekends): Half rate.

Non-UMN academic: double rate

Corporate clients: inquire to the Director here. For a long-term project with clearly defined activities, a detailed contract will be negotiated.

Consulting. When staff assistance is requested for experiment planning, sample preparation, data acquisition and/or analysis, a charge of $60/hr ($100/hr for non-UMN users) will be applied in addition to the cost of materials and instrument time.

Other Instruments:
Two high-throughput screening fluorescence plate readers are available to UMN researchers for translational projects, when ready to optimize and scale up for screening large chemical libraries.
•    FLTPR Top-Read: Fluorescence Lifetime Plate Reader with up to 1536-well capability. Excitation sources: 473 nm and 532 nm lasers.
•    SUPR: Spectral Unmixing Plate Reader with up to 1536-well capability. Excitation sources: 473 nm and 532 nm lasers. 
These instruments are owned by Photonic Pharma LLC. For information, visit



Instrument usage is charged by the longest between the reserved time and logged time. This facility is organized as an ISO, and fees obtained are used to pay for costs only, with zero profits.

Instrument usage is charged whether or not an experiment is successful, unless the experiment's failure is caused by a hardware or software problem with the instrument, as verified by center personnel.

New users must create an account. Accounts will be activated after administrative review.

Every account must have a ChartField String. Users must create and use separate accounts for separate ChartField Strings.

Much of BTC is located in access-restricted areas of Nils Hasselmo and Jackson Halls. University of Minnesota users can have their U Cards activated for area access by request.

Users are assigned appropriate hard disk space for data analysis and storage as determined by the manager. Users are responsible for saving, archiving, and moving their data off-disk before they exceed their allotted disk space.

Notices of repairs, down time due to building air/water shut-offs and any other interruption in service will be sent via e-mail or posted on the web site.

While this is primarily a user-operated center, data analysis by center staff can be arranged at assistance rates. Users are expected to report problems promptly to the center manager.

The center reserves the right to deny center user privileges to anyone who has insufficient knowledge or engages in unsafe practices or other unacceptable behavior.

Instrument signup and reservations

Requests for time are filled based on user requests, with an effort made to provide equity in the distribution of scheduled time.

Users can reserve instrument time using iLabs. In case of conflict, users are encouraged to contact each other directly, only afterwards contacting the Optics or EPR managers.

Requests for instrument time by users outside the University community may be made via e-mail to the BTC director or managers. Definite assignments of time will be made only one week in advance, with rare exceptions.

In most cases, no user will receive more than one weekday (M-F) unless all other users have been given a chance to sign up for one. In order to encourage efficient use of the instruments, weekday scheduling ignores any use of evening or weekend time.

The center is a shared resource, and consideration of the needs of fellow users is expected. Time requested should not exceed time actually used/charged by more than 15%.

Schedule adjustments

The center staff has the discretion to make schedule adjustments on short notice, if necessary. Highest priority is given to users who have established a record of responsible use of their assigned time.

Cancelling reservations

The center recognizes that occasionally problems with samples or other unforeseen events disrupt experimental plans. Under these circumstances, users can cancel all of their reserved time, in advance of the starting time, using the instrument calendars.

Instrument logs

BTC instrument time is logged when the user logs ins with their X500. Users are reminded to log out when they are finished.

For instruments using paper logs, users must fill in the starting time upon arrival at the center, and the ending time, total time used, and account number to be charged when done using the instrument.


The BTC should be acknowledged in any publications arising from the data analyzed in the BTC with the following text:

Experiments reported in this paper were performed at the Biophysical Technology Center, University of Minnesota Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Biophysics.