School of Biological and Life Sciences - The Technical University of Kenya

Faculty of Applied Sciences and Technology

School of Biological and Life Sciences
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Equipment donation from African Development Bank to the school of biological and life sciences

The School of Biological and Life Sciences has been a beneficiary of equipment donated by African Development Bank donated through the Government of Kenya. It is not possible to effectively teach disciplines in biology without experimentation, and the latter requires equipment. Although the School had a few working pieces of laboratory equipment, most of them are obsolete, and there was a dire need of modern equipment. Departments in the School have been developing Master’s degree programmes that are ready to roll out in September 2016. It was going to be a great challenge to teach Master’s students without the appropriate equipment. The School is very grateful to the African Development Bank, and to the Kenyan Government for these pieces of equipment, which will assist in producing graduates scientifically and technically equipped in line with our motto “Education and Training the Real World”.


The equipment were delivered to TU-K on 14th February, 2015, the best “Valentine” gift to the School. The equipment have been installed and both Teaching and Technical staff have been trained on the usage of the equipment. The Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology` sent its Officers to confirm the actual presence of the equipment, and later on it sent Experts to ascertain whether the equipment were fully functional.
Three of the four Departments in the School received the donated equipment: Department of Applied and Technical Biology, Department of Biochemistry and Biochemistry and the Department of Food Science and Technology.
The Department of Applied and Technical Biology received the following 10 pieces of equipment:

 

  • Shaker platform which is used in General mixing, washing procedures, sample and media preparation, staining/distaining, extraction and blood procedures, food tests and hybridization.
  • Refrigerated circulating bath which is used for temperature- controlled reactions e.g. embedding/infiltration of tissues and maintaining of media/stains at specific temperatures.
  • Liquid, solid separator/concentrator used in separation of materials
  • Hermle high speed programmable universal centrifuge for separation of different liquids on the basis of differences in densities and separation of solids from liquids.
  • Vertical lift muffle furnace which is used for biomass analysis and extraction techniques in plants.
  • Multihazard atmosphere glove box (stainless steel). This equipment provides physical barrier to protect the operator from hazardous materials e.g. bacteriological agents
  • Fume hood for sterile working environment, for example in microbiology and tissue culture.
  • Biosafety cabinet that provides protection from contamination for both the user and the specimen. It is crucial for cell and tissue culture and microbiology work, and procedures requiring sterile environment.
  • 2.0 mega pixel digital imaging compound microscope used in observing microorganisms and capturing their images. It is very useful in parasitology and microbiology work.
  • Distiller that removes unwanted elements in water and provides pure water for running sensitive assays e.g. in Biochemistry and Immunology.

Dr. Susan Imbahale, the Chairperson of the Department of Applied and Technical Biology, is very thankful for these pieces of equipment as they are they will be useful in training Master’s degree students. The department has been very lean on equipment.
The Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology received 6 pieces of equipment:

  • Micro centrifuge Bench top (Eppendorf) which is used for purification of macromolecules by sedimentation.
  • Vertical Mini Gel unit-Hoefer for protein, used for separation of proteins e.g. purification of protein and DNA by membrane separation.
  • Gel Documentation System is used to view DNA fragments under UV light, after they have been separated on agarose gel.
  • DNA analyser is used in quantification of DNA.
  • Automated CO2 incubator which is used to grow microbes under controlled environment
  • PCR machine used to make multiple copies of DNA in a sample

The Chairperson of the Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology, Dr. Peris Amwayi is happy that these equipment add on what the Department already has. It will now be possible to undertake most of the procedures in Biochemistry and Biotechnology at the Technical University of Kenya.
The Department of Food Science and Technology received 6 pieces of equipment:

  • Fluid Bad Drier is used for drying of vegetables and preservation
  • Freezer for sample freezing and preservation.
  • Freeze dryer is used for drying of heat sensitive substances.
  • Boiler for steam generation in processes such as in Food Engineering
  • Drying oven for drying samples and for moisture content determination.
  • Sieve Shaker which is used in screening and size separation.

Dr. Mercy Mwaniki, the Chairperson of Department of Food Science and Technology is grateful for the equipment. They will complement the equipment in place and make teaching much easier.
The laboratories of School of Biological and Life Sciences have been transformed by the addition to these equipment. The equipment will not only be used in teaching, but also in research, which is a pillar in a university.

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