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Zablocki VA Medical Center

Zablocki VA Medical Center

LocationLocationNameDescriptionLinkCTSI Core/ServiceFree Core Access
Milwaukee VA Medical Center (Zablocki)zvamcBIOMECHANICS CORE More InfoMultiple specialty laboratories serve as “Biomechanics Research Core” facilities. Labs include electrohydraulic pistons and a separate bending-moment apparatus that apply simple or complex loads to biological or material specimens of various sizes. Custom-designed equipment to deliver blunt or blast brain injury to rodents and tissues are available. Additional devices include drop tower, pendulum impactor, pneumatically-driven servo-sled accelerator, and full-vehicle crash lab. High-speed video and 3D motion capture capabilities compliment over 400 channels of data acquisition equipment.


3D motion capture systems
A computational lab with multiple high-end computer work stations
Vertical Drop Tower apparatus
High-speed video cameras
High-rate data acquisition systems
Servo-sled accelerator to study occupant responses
Vehicle crashworthiness laboratory includes a 500 ft track and barriers to conduct full-scale vehicle crashes
Crash test dummies including the Hybrid-III and EuroSID dummies
Shock-wave tube for blast simulation on rodents
Shock-wave tube for blast simulation on cells and tissue
Behavioral laboratory, including Morris Water Maze; Elevated Plus Maze; Open Field Test; Barnes Maze; Rotarod assessments Facility technicians use on behalf of investigators
10″ diameter shock tube for PMHS testing
Split Hopkinson Pressure Bar
Rotational acceleration brain injury device for rodents
Motion-tracking software system
Finite element mechanics software
Milwaukee VA Medical Center (Zablocki)zvamcCONFOCAL MICROSCOPY CORE More InfoThe VA Medical Center houses a confocal microscope for fluorescent imaging of tissue specimens or cell cultures. Capabilities include 3D optical sectioning, time-lapse imaging, spectral imaging, and imaging stitching or scanning. It is open to all investigators affiliated with the VA Medical Center or partnering institutions on a collaborative basis, with training required for access and online scheduling.

Leica TCS SP8 Laser Scanning Microscope
Milwaukee VA Medical Center (Zablocki)zvamcCRYSTAL ID CORE More InfoThe Crystal ID Laboratory specializes in the identification of crystalline materials in biologic samples, focusing on crystal-associated diseases such as kidney stone disease, crystal-associated lung diseases, and crystal-induced arthritis.

Technology & Resources

High-resolution x-ray powder diffraction
Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy as analysis methods
Extensive library of standards that have been assembled for both XRD and FTIR during over 30 years of analyses
Analyze crystalline materials from animal models and from synthetic processes

Two FTIR (Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy)
Four XRD (X-ray powder diffraction)
Milwaukee VA Medical Center (Zablocki)zvamcIMAGING STATION-PLATE READER CORE More InfoThe Imaging Station-Plate Reader Core offers quantitative imaging of luminescent, fluorescent and colorimetric labeled biomolecules in a variety of assay formats including electrophoresis gels, gel blots, plates, tissues and in-vivo assays. Users must be trained prior to instrument use and software is available for remote analysis of imaging files. Use of the Imaging Station-Plate Reader Core is on a collaborative basis with utilizing online calendars for scheduling.

Technology & Resources

Imaging Stations for white light photography; Chemiluminescence detection (Western blots); UV Illumination (Ethidium Bromide gels, Fluorescent dye labels):

Carestream Health IS4000
Apelgen OmegaLum G
Plate Readers for reading 384, 96, 12 and 6 well formats:

PowerWave XS: Variable wavelength UV/VIS detection
Synergy 4: Fluorescent and Luminescent detection


Carestream Health IS4000 Imaging Station
Apelgen OmegaLum G Imaging Station
PowerWave XS: Variable wavelength UV/VIS detection plate reader
Synergy 4: Fluorescent and Luminescent detection plate reader
Milwaukee VA Medical Center (Zablocki)zvamcKECK FUNCTIONAL IMAGING LABORATORY (KFIL) More InfoThe Keck Functional Imaging Laboratory (KFIL) is a facility involving collaborators from the Medical College of Wisconsin, Marquette University and Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center. The two primary components of the lab are the unique open-design micro-CT and micro-SPECT systems for studying small animals, excised organs and tissue specimens. The x-ray source is ~3 microns which also enables high-resolution dynamic (30 frames/sec) planar imaging. Principal investigators in the laboratory use the systems primarily for the study of pulmonary physiology but it is adaptable for imaging many different biological phenomena. The facility is located at the VA Medical Center and was built and maintained with support from the W. M. Keck Foundation.

The X-ray imaging system was designed for both dynamics planar X-ray angiography and micro-CT (see Figure 2). This provides our group with the flexibility to acquire data on mass transport phenomena as well as detailed volumetric morphology. In both modes, emphasis was placed on high spatial resolution, on the order of tens of microns. Specifically, the system can acquire high frame rate planar images and short scan time volumetric data, which require high temporal resolution and high data throughput in addition to relatively low noise, large dynamic range, and a precision x-ray source and detector. The instrumentation also allows for precise manipulation of the specimen and detector position relative to the X-ray source providing fine controlled magnification and accurate selected regional imaging for data collection in real time.
Milwaukee VA Medical Center (Zablocki)zvamcZABLOCKI VA MEDICAL CENTER TRANSLATIONAL RESEARCH UNIT More InfoThe Zablocki VA Medical Center Translational Research Unit (V-TRU) is a resource for clinical investigators working with both veterans and non-veterans. Located on the fifth floor of the Veteran’s Medical Center, the unit consists of three fully equipped exam rooms and a laboratory specimen processing room.

The V-TRU Team is available to assist with services such as nursing support, study coordination, consenting, lab services and processing, manual muscle testing, medication administration, filling out case report forms and IRB assistance. Research nurses are able to assist investigators with research specific needs across multiple disciplines. The V-TRU can also connect you to cores within the Veteran’s Medical Center, including the Biomechanics Research Core, the Crystal ID Laboratory, the Imaging Station Core and the Keck Animal Imaging Core.

The V-TRU is currently participating in multiple studies including the Million Veteran Program (MVP). The MVP is a national study that aims to enroll one million Veteran volunteers from across the country to study how genes affect health. Researchers will collect blood samples and health information from the participants to create the world’s largest medical database that will be used to answer research questions and lead to new treatments.

SERVICES - Nursing support and dedicated nursing time
Study coordination
Use of exam rooms and equipment
Laboratory sample preparation and processing
Data management and consultations
IRB asssistance
Access to VA national databases

NIH Funding Acknowledgment: Important Reminder – Please acknowledge the NIH when publishing papers, patents, projects, and presentations resulting from the use of CTSI resources by including the NIH Funding Acknowledgement.


Children's Hospital of WisconsinMarquette UniversityMSOEUWMVersitiVA Medical Center