Within the field of synthetic biology, there has recently been a necessity for low-cost, DIY, biological lab equipment in order to maintain the momentum at which the field is developing. Our iGEM team has two solutions to this problem, one of which is the growth chamber.

Our team’s growth chamber allows you to optimise the conditions and to record and analyse the growth of your 9cm petri dishes at a fraction of the cost of the commercially available equivalents, regardless of the samples you're growing. The functionality of growth chamber includes:

  • 10 high-power LEDs (up to around 2 Watts each), with 2 each of 5 different colours (red, true green, blue, ultra-white 6000K, and infrared 850nm) that can be programmed in circadian rhythms, allowing you to choose the wavelength and the intensity of light that is best for your samples
  • A “Peltier” element for temperature control
  • A camera module controlled by a Raspberry Pi which autonomously takes pictures of your samples at pre-scheduled intervals and uploads them online, allowing you to view the progress of your samples from anywhere with an internet connection (and also to produce time-lapses)
  • A thermistor and LDR for measurement and analysis of temperature and light conditions throughout growth (the growth chamber produces tables of this information which can be imported into Excel), as well as for feedback to the “Peltier” element
  • Fans for controlling air circulation in the growth chamber, and for cooling electronic components

More information on our design considerations can be found in the project's design section.

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