Note: Any tips will go straight to our charity "TReND in Africa" (www.trendinafrica.org) which is dedicated to fostering university level science education on the African continent!
// update April 2017 - the full design is now formally published on bioRxiv: http://biorxiv.org/content/early/2017/03/31/122812
// note update v29 in scad (5th Aug 2016), has lower tolerance for all slidy bits to work well on an ultimaker 2. also the size of the PCB slot has expanded to reflect the latest iteration of that. The STL arrangements are still from version 26.
The 100$ lab: A 3-D printable open source platform for fluorescence microscopy, optogenetics and accurate temperature control during behaviour of zebrafish, Drosophila and C. elegans.
in collaboration with Andre Maia Chagas (ID: iamchagas) Lucia L Prieto Godino (ID: lprietog) and A Arrenberg
Hack-a-day link: https://hackaday.io/project/5059-flypi
Link on my page, including a work-in-progress manuscript + manual:
We call it "FlyPi", as it is based on a Raspberry Pi, and was originally intended for work with Drosophila (fruit flies). However, also without flies it is a very useful tool, e.g. for science teaching.
A Raspberry Pi 2 with adjustable focus RPi Camera module serves as the basic imaging unit. A custom Arduino Nano / PCB breakout allows flexible attachment and software control of a range of sensors and actuators. By default, it controls a bunch of LEDs for lighting, fluorescence excitation and optogenetic stimulation as well as a Peltier element and thermistor for accurate temperature control. In addition, servo motors and other actuators can be attached. All mechanics are 3D printed. A custom Python3 GUI controls both the RPiCamera and all peripherals through the Arduino.
As can be seen in the preliminary figures included, the system resolves things down to the size of single red blood cells and gives fairly descent GFP-based fluorescence images. Optogenetic stimulation of ChRII and ReaChR works, and we are currently optimising out Peltier control system (it overheats too quickly).
Notably, the videos don't do it justice - youtube kills the high resolution, both temporal and spatial, and introduces unfortunate compression artifacts. Original videos taken are crisp 5MP at 15 Hz, and go up to 90 Hz at x4 binning.
We aim to formally publish this in a scientific outlet in the near future, together with adequate documentation to build your own. The system can be assembled from off-the-shelf components that total ~100 $ (hence 100$ lab...). All plans & code are fully open. For now, however it's very much a work in progress and we are still working out the kinks... but do watch this space!
Also, do check out our recent publication on 3D printing lab equipment. http://journals.plos.org/plosbiology/article?id=10.1371/journal.pbio.1002086
Finally, do check out our Science & Africa NGO:
Here, amongst other things, we aim to implement these types of designs in science education and research on the African continent.
Andre's Site: http://openeuroscience.com/
Motorised focus: http://youtu.be/nKvuao8ENtA