When we think about an iGEM project, we have to wonder: what are the people’s necessities? How can we contribute to the world? Are we able to develop a new technology? What difficulties will we have to face?
We had to answer all those questions, and also face all the obstacles that could prevent the completion of our project. Brazil is not a developed country, and it presents a direct impacts on science. It is common to hear complaints about the difficulty to buy a laboratory device. Sometimes, even a simple equipment, as a centrifuge is not available, and as a manner to solve this issue, we explored the open hardware framework.
Open hardware consists in sharing information about hardware designs, offering many benefits to their users. The main advantage of its use is the possibility of building a new technology in a cheaper and faster manner. Besides, as the source code and all the instructions to build the devices are available, it is also easier to update, maintain and repair it.
The iGEM group and the open hardware community collaboration enabled the development of a centrifuge and an electrophoresis system. All of these devices were essentials to the project, and now is our responsibility to keep this collaboration. Therefore, we have plans to develop a thermocycler and a spectrophotometer. This is our way of giving back to the community the knowledge the we have acquired and keep contributing with innovation.