Centre for Analytical Services (LUCAS)


The Centre for Analytical Services promotes the research interests of Lakehead University faculty while providing regional access to the University's analytical testing facilities. 

Website: Lakehead University Centre for Analytical Services <http://lucas.lakeheadu.ca/>

Contact: Karen Maa Tel. (807) 343-8590

Email: kmaa@lakeheadu.ca

The following research facilities are members of LUCAS:


Aquatic Toxicology Research Centre (ATRC)

The Aquatic Toxicology Research Centre (ATRC) is an aquatic facility that supports research into the evaluation and prevention of toxic effects from industrial wastes in the environment. The ATRC also offers a full range of toxicity testing services to both industry and government, designed to meet current regulatory requirements. These services currently include acute testing with rainbow trout and daphnia, as well as Toxicology Identification and Evaluation [TIE] and Toxicity Early Warning system [TEW]. ATRC is accredited to ISO17025 by the Canadian Association for Laboratory Accreditation (CALA) (see www.cala.ca directory for a list of tests). 


Biotechnology Laboratory for Enzymes and Bioproducts

The Biotechnology Laboratory for Enzymes and Bioproducts (BLEB) focuses on applied biotechnological analytical services in bioproduct analysis, biodegradation studies, enzyme assay, microbiology and aspects of molecular biology.


Biomass Utilization Research Laboratory

BURL offers access to the unique pulping research facilities in the Chemical Engineering Department at Lakehead University. Some of the pulp testing services include: latency removal, fibre classification, digestor cooks, bleaching, PFI curves, pitch and resins content of pulp and paper and chips. Chemical Engineering testing services include: BOD, flashpoint, fuel oil specs, BTU/calorie testing, chloride analysis in concrete, and technical training. 


FoReST (Forest Resources and Soils Testing) Laboratory

The FoReST Lab offers testing of a wide range of forest resources (e.g. vegetation, organic matter, peat) including soils. Information derived is useful to land managers in the identification of prime sites and when considering the impacts of management activities such as road location, harvesting, regeneration and tending. Nutrient status reports assist nursery operators, seed orchard and farm managers to determine appropriate fertilization applications or other amendments ( e.g. pH adjustment, CEC, etc.). Assistance in sampling protocols and design is also available.


Lakehead University Environmental Laboratory (LUEL)

Established in 1995, the Environmental Laboratory (or LUEL) offers multi-parameters testing of soils, sediments, biological tissues, vegetation, waters and specific chemicals. LUEL also conducts field investigations for water quality, wetlands and environmental effects monitoring. The laboratory focuses on developing analytical methods to fit specific requirements. The laboratory provides hands-on training of undergraduate and graduate students. LUEL is also accredited to ISO17025 by the Canadian Association for Laboratory Accreditation (CALA) for water chemistry and biological samples parameters. (see www.cala.ca directory for a list of tests)


Lakehead University Geospatial Data Centre

The Lakehead University Geospatial Data Centre was created in 2012 in order to provide various mapping and 3D imaging services to Northwestern Ontario and beyond.

Office and lab space is located in the Regional Centre in the following rooms. RC2001, RC2001a & RC2005.


Lakehead University Instrumentation Laboratory (LUIL)

The Lakehead University Instrumentation Laboratory (or LUIL) is a multi-purpose, centralized facility which serves researchers and students from three faculties, providing access to spectrometers, electron and laser microscopes and analyzers needed for modern research and training of Canada's future scientists. The Laboratory manages some of the University’s most advanced research equipment, much of which is unique to the region. The LUIL provides extensive, hands-on training programs in the use of SEM/EDS, NMR, CONFOCAL, FTIR, ICP and XRD systems to students before they begin their research projects. The facility is supported and used by regional resource and health care industries as well as government agencies for multi-party projects in the fields of mineral exploration, process control, cancer diagnosis and bio-remediation.


Lakehead University Materials Characterization Services (LUMCS)

At the heart of LUMCS are its materials characterization services including chemical characterization, atomic force microscopic analysis, and measurement of chemical, electrical and optical properties. However there are many other services LUMCS' clients can take advantage of. LUMCS provides services related to aqueous silicon chemistry and silicates, as well as fabrication of thin films and synthesis of nanostructured materials such as nanoparticles, nanotubes, nanowires, nanofibres, and nanoshells. Furthermore LUMCS offers a wide range of computational chemistry services including quantum chemistry based thermodynamic, spectroscopic and kinetic parameters, electronic structure based properties such as atomic charges and molecular orbitals, quantum chemistry based assessment of intramolecular interactions, and high quality single molecule figures and artwork.


Lakehead University Mineralogical and Experimental Laboratory (LUMINX)

LUMINX is designed to serve as a bridge between the minerals industry and university researchers by providing advanced mineralogical and geochemical services that are not routinely available from commercial firms:

    • Quantitative or qualitative phase and chemical composition analysis   of solids
    • Mineralogical/petrographic assessment of geological samples
    • Fluid inclusion microthermometry
    • Characterization of gold- and platinum group-bearing phases, sulphides and diamond indicator minerals
    • Analysis of high-tech and industrial minerals, and mineral synthesis
    • Compositional analysis of natural and synthetic glasses
    • Solubility testing of natural and synthetic material


Lakehead University Molecular Archaeochemistry and Residue Services

Molecular Services:  LUMARS provides molecular services for the characterization and identification of a large range of molecules including carbohydrates, nucleic acids, amino acids, hydrocarbons, lipids, terpenes, terpenoids, fatty acids, alkaloids, fats, phospholipids, steroids, and waxes, aromatics and inorganic compounds. These molecules may be identified as biomarkers for identification or as markers for preservation. This service is specific to the molecule of interest but can be performed on unknown substances for characterisation.

Archaeochemistry Services
There are many objects or substances other than residues that can be found in the archaeological record. The archaeological chemistry and material analysis service provides a range of analyses to identify the material composition of these archaeological remains. These analyses can include elemental analysis, biochemical analysis, histological analysis, chemical analysis and microscopic analysis.

Residue Services
Archaeological, organic, inorganic and trace residue analysis can be  a pplied to any archaeological material that is found on the surface of another. Archaeological residues can include cave art pigment, cooking residues, ceramic residue, lithic residues, food processing residues, blood residues, brewing residue, proc essing residues, coprolites, soil pits, caches, functional areas, paints, poisons and chemical traces.  


Lakehead University Wood Science Testing Facility (LUWSTF)

The LUWSTF offers state-of-the-art testing for the mechanical properties of wood and wood products. The lab can also do hot press runs for composite research as well as large ovens for physical property research projects. A new Bomb Calorimeter was purchased last year and the lab now conducts BTU testing for several industries. Wood identification is also conducted in the labs for various clients as are other consultancy projects. Currently the facilities are undergoing a major capacity building exercise with new state-of-the-art testing and scale manufacturing equipment as well as staffing increases and postgraduate student number increases. The LUWSTF has also begun a portable wood processing technologies program to aid communities in becoming involved in the value-added forest sector and to promote small scale manufacturing of value-added products. To this end the LUWSTF has recently purchased a Wood Mizer Portable Bandsaw mill and also purchased a portable twin edger and kiln. There is also a new area being studied within forestry and also in collaboration with the Green Energy Lab in Chemical Engineering where bio-products utilizing wood waste are being studied. This includes bio-fuels, bio-energy and also bio-chemicals; for example, one project is looking at wood waste to produce bio-resins to use in the laminate industry. 


Paleo-DNA Laboratory

The Paleo-DNA Laboratory is one of the top ancient DNA research laboratories in the world. The laboratory is specifically designed to accommodate low-copy number, degraded, or ancient samples and vigorously control contamination. This laboratory provides academic support to faculty and students of Lakehead University as well as extension services to the public in the form of paternity testing, universal genetic identification and ancient DNA analysis.  The Paleo-DNA Laboratory is also a leader in human mitochondrial DNA research and was one of the first Canadian laboratories to develop mitochondrial DNA analysis techniques. They were also the first laboratory to offer a DNA training course emphasizing mitochondrial DNA analysis. Several biotechnology companies, DNA service and forensic labs extensively use the Paleo-DNA Laboratory as the source for staff training and new employee recruitment.