The €100 lab: A 3D-printable open-source platform for fluorescence microscopy, optogenetics, and accurate temperature control during behaviour of zebrafish, Drosophila, and Caenorhabditis elegans

Our design is based on a 3D-printed mainframe, a Raspberry Pi computer, and high-definition camera system as well as Arduino-based optical and thermal control circuits. Depending on the configuration, FlyPi can be assembled for well under €100 and features optional modules for light-emitting diode (LED)-based fluorescence microscopy and optogenetic stimulation as well as a Peltier-based temperature stimulator for thermogenetics.
2 years ago
Authors: Andre Maia Chagas , Lucia L. Prieto-Godino, Aristides B. Arrenberg, Tom Baden
 
Journal: PLOS Biology
 
Publisher: PLOS 
 
Abstract
 
Small, genetically tractable species such as larval zebrafish, Drosophila, or Caenorhabditis elegans have become key model organisms in modern neuroscience. In addition to their low maintenance costs and easy sharing of strains across labs, one key appeal is the possibility to monitor single or groups of animals in a behavioural arena while controlling the activity of select neurons using optogenetic or thermogenetic tools. However, the purchase of a commercial solution for these types of experiments, including an appropriate camera system as well as a controlled behavioural arena, can be costly. Here, we present a low-cost and modular open-source alternative called ‘FlyPi’.
 
Our design is based on a 3D-printed mainframe, a Raspberry Pi computer, and high-definition camera system as well as Arduino-based optical and thermal control circuits. Depending on the configuration, FlyPi can be assembled for well under €100 and features optional modules for light-emitting diode (LED)-based fluorescence microscopy and optogenetic stimulation as well as a Peltier-based temperature stimulator for thermogenetics.
 
The complete version with all modules costs approximately €200 or substantially less if the user is prepared to ‘shop around’. All functions of FlyPi can be controlled through a custom-written graphical user interface. To demonstrate FlyPi’s capabilities, we present its use in a series of state-of-the-art neurogenetics experiments. In addition, we demonstrate FlyPi’s utility as a medical diagnostic tool as well as a teaching aid at Neurogenetics courses held at several African universities. Taken together, the low cost and modular nature as well as fully open design of FlyPi make it a highly versatile tool in a range of applications, including the classroom, diagnostic centres, and research labs.
 

Photo: The 3D model, colour coded by core structure (black), mounting adapters (blue), and micromanipulator (green) (credits: Andre Maia Chagas , Lucia L. Prieto-Godino, Aristides B. Arrenberg, Tom Baden)

Photo: Printed parts and electronics, partially assembled (credits: Andre Maia Chagas , Lucia L. Prieto-Godino, Aristides B. Arrenberg, Tom Baden)

Photo: Wiring diagram and summary of electronics. Full bill of materials (BOM) in S1 Table. (credits: Andre Maia Chagas , Lucia L. Prieto-Godino, Aristides B. Arrenberg, Tom Baden)

Photo: The assembled FlyPi with single micromanipulator and light-emitting diode (LED)-ring module, diffusor, and Petri dish adapter mounted in the bottom. (credits: Andre Maia Chagas , Lucia L. Prieto-Godino, Aristides B. Arrenberg, Tom Baden)

Photos: E. Filter wheel mounted above the inverted camera objective. F. Peltier element and thermistor embedded into the base. G. Automatic focus drive. H. Petri dish mounting adapters. I. A second micromanipulator mounted to the left face of FlyPi holding a probe (here, a 200-μl pipette tip for illustration) above the microscope slide mounted by the micromanipulator on the right. (credits: Andre Maia Chagas , Lucia L. Prieto-Godino, Aristides B. Arrenberg, Tom Baden)

Copyright: © 2017 Maia Chagas et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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