The 100$ laboratory: A 3-D printable open source platform for fluorescence microscopy, optogenetics and precise temperature control during behavior 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 connection: https://hackaday.io/project/5059-flypi
Link on my page, including a work-in-progress manuscript + manual:
We call it "FlyPi", since it is based on a Raspberry Pi, and was originally meant for work with Drosophila (fruit flies). However, also without flies it is a really useful tool, e.g. for science teaching.
A Raspberry Pi 2 with adjustable focus RPi Camera module serves as the fundamental imaging unit. A custom Arduino Nano / PCB breakout enables flexible attachment and software control of a range of sensors and actuators. By default, it controls a whole lot of LEDs for lighting, fluorescence excitation and optogenetic stimulation as well as a Peltier element and thermistor for precise temperature control. Additionally, servo motors and other actuators can be attached. All mechanics are 3D printed. A custom Python3 GUI controls both the RPiCamera and all peripherals throughout 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 provides 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 shot are crisp 5MP in 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 sufficient documentation to build your own. The system can be constructed from off-the-shelf components that total ~100 $ (hence 100$ laboratory...). All programs & code are fully open. For now, however it is very much a work in progress and we are still working out the kinks... but do watch this space!
Also, do check out our latest publication on 3D printing laboratory equipment. http://journals.plos.org/plosbiology/article?id=10.1371/journal.pbio.1002086
Finally, do take a look at 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