Poster: Open Science Hardware in Microbiology

Poster on "Open Science Hardware in Microbiology" presented on the "Molecular Biology of Plant Pathogens" meeting in 2019 by Alexander Kutschera (19.03.2019).

Hardware is a vital part of science: microscopes, sensors, reagents and instruments are all central to experimentation but the current supply chain limits access to many people and impedes creativity and customisation. Open Science Hardware addresses part of this problem through sharing open designs to expand the availability of customisable and often lower cost tools within academic research, citizen science and education. Technologies such as 3D printing and electronics platforms like Arduino and Raspberry Pi are making it ever easier to get started with designing hardware for your experiments. Here we present two projects as examples for Open Science Hardware in Microbiology.
We recently developed a low-cost test tube photometer which is capable of performing continuous cell-density measurements [1]. It is based on a simple photodiode with on-board signal amplification which is connected to a microcontroller. The housing consists out of modular 3D-printed parts which can be easily customized to fit different test tube sizes. The accuracy of the device is equal to commercial photometers and can be used to monitor growth dynamics of microbes. In another project we designed a 3D-printable lighting chamber for agar plates and combined it with a single-board computer and camera. It can be used to take time-lapse images and process the content. We used it to monitor bacterial swarming motility and calculate motility dynamics over time.