Tue 30 May 2023 1:01PM

2 projects proposed on Experiment.com

A adrian Public Seen by 65

Hello, I am submitting 2 potential projects on an Experiment dot com. They are actually submitted but not publicly visible. I was wondering if any of you are interested to take part in the projects. Both projects have an engineering part and a molecular biology part and both are about finding a low cost solution for wet labs especially for low resource environments like community bio.

One is about create an enzyme cooler to be able to store enzymes (and other things like bacterial stabs) in a normal fridge when a -80 freezer is not available.

The second one is an almost start to end solution to create on-site low cost reagents. This solution will greatly remove the needs for consumables and manipulation of carcinogens like Iptg.

As the projects are not visible I'll cut and copy some of info below. I have also included a PDF of the plans for biological work on this thread.

If anybody is interested I'll provide more info.



Can we find a low cost solution to use temperature sensitive biologicals in research ?

BiologyMedicineGrant: Low-Cost Tools for Science

About This Project

Temperature sensitive biological like enzymes are stored in ultra low temperature refrigerators that costs more than 15k. That is one of the highest cost barriers for setting up a biology research lab. A researcher we know has been using a 250-300$ device called enzyme cooler and a usual refrigerator for storing enzymes with good results. We expect to design, build and test an affordable alternative for about 30$ without sacrificing performance.

What is the context of this research?

Many biology, health, climate and pollution research efforts require well equipped biology labs to perform experiments like genetic engineering.

It's difficult to equip a molecular biology lab because of high costs, particularly expenses associated with cold storage that requires ultra low temp freezers (ULT).

The usage of ULT freezers result in high expenses that include purchase cost >15k, transport, electrical consumption (700-1000$/month) , space and HVAC requirements and significant environmental impact (Ultra-Low-Temperature-Freezers).

Used ULT freezers are not necessarily inexpensive alternative because regulations require emptying the coolant agents for transportation and refills need to be performed by specialists.

What is the significance of this project?

For many bio research teams it would be beneficial to have a low cost alternate solution to deal with temperature sensitive biologics.

We can eliminate the ULT freezer requirements using a low cost alternative that will work without loss of performance for the majority of situations.

This will make scientific research more affordable by reducing the cost barrier. In some cases, for unprivileged or marginalized communities it can even make it possible where purchasing, housing and maintaining a ULT is not possible.

Testing the solution with multiple enzymes and cell storage protocols will help understand the capabilities of storage using this low cost build. It will answer questions about best protocols and lifetime evolution. We found no other performant open source enzyme cooler.

What are the goals of the project?

Make biology research affordable be removing the largest device cost of setting up a lab. That is done by creating an open source enzyme cooler that matches the commercial product performance.

Test the device and publish results.

A challenge is to create an airtight agent chamber so the refrigeration agent will not spill or leak, is physically durable, chemically resistant to the the refrigeration agent and be able to be molded in the desired shape. Normal 3D printers cannot to meet these requirements so we'll use a mold approach. Another challenge is providing a solid thermal contact between the tubes containing the biological and the refrigeration source. For this challenge metal will be ideal. Thirdly, we need a insulator exterior box that can be closed without heat exchange.

==== Second project

Can we significantly reduce the high costs of enzymes to make biology and medical research accessible and affordable ?

About This Project

The high cost of enzymes used in bio and medical research is a barrier, particularly in resource-limited settings. Lowering enzyme costs will promote scientific discovery and democratize it. Cost is mainly determined by devices and purification. The costlier device is the shaker incubator. Purification costs are a result of reagents and disposable chromatography columns costs. We'll create a low cost shaker incubator and a purification process that use reusable magnetic beads and few reagents.

What is the context of this research?

Production of biologicals like enzymes is essential to of healthcare, food technology, and agriculture. The high cost of production and purification of these molecules has limited their accessibility. Some use reagent sharing. We propose a low-cost enzyme/biologics production system. Our approach uses a shaker incubator built using inexpensive materials. By using an open-source design, we aim to make this technology accessible to a wider audience. We also propose the replacement of the expensive traditional chromatography purification process with a reusable magnetic bead method that requires almost no reagents and is capable of high purity yields. This way, we can significantly reduce the cost of purification and minimize the amount of generated waste.

References in the Bio Design.

What is the significance of this project?

There is a lack of low cost open-source (OS) solutions for biologicals production. Most open source designs for incubators and shakers are untested, undocumented, and don't meet industry standards. Same for purification where we found no OS use of magnetic separation approach currently in use. To address this, we propose an integrated system that meets the required 300 RPM speed for bacterial cell culture, operate for 4 days. and allow remote operation from the web. Replacing chromatography purification with reusable magnetic beans purification should reduce the cost by an order of magnitude. Implementing this solution, will ensure that the enzyme purification process is reliable and cost-effective. This will facilitate research, especially in low resource environments.

What are the goals of the project?

We'll design a low cost alternative incubator with an inexpensive WIFI controller that allows remote real time monitoring and control. We will reuse a recycled container for the incubator.

For the device, we'll explore two options. The first option will be a dedicated printed circuit board and the second option will be an off the shelf board. We will employ various technologies to determine the best solution for the dedicated casing and the high strength component required for oxygenating the bacterial culture.

To further reduce costs, we will use off-patent biological constructs. Our goal is to design a system that is easy to use, can be easily extended and use standards such as BioBrick.

Publish the research on GitHub and as a paper.


Sana Jalili Wed 31 May 2023 3:28PM

Hello everyone . Just missed Lomio's chats

Adrain, I really liked the project Idea. How are you planning further, as in we need to run some wet lab prototypes (after going through the project what I understood, Please correct, If I am wrong). During PostGrads ,I was working on extracellular enzymes (Once the enzyme got denatured & I struggled all the way starting from purification)


Danny Mon 14 Aug 2023 3:01PM

@adrian any update on this project? To me it seems like it still has not gone live. Do you still intend using this thread to find engagement from folks associated with Biotech Without Borders?


adrian Mon 14 Aug 2023 4:16PM


Sure. I would expect both or at least one to go live as early as
this week. This is vacation season and I was on vacation for 2




Danny Mon 14 Aug 2023 5:26PM

OK yes no worries I was just looking to clean up threads here and I wasn't sure if something happened to the project that derailed it. Ellen ran a campaign recently which reminded me to check in with this one. Did you end up following up with the comment Sana left at the end of May?


Danny Mon 16 Oct 2023 7:11PM

@adrian I saw the project went live last week. Did only one of them go live or are both open? Could you update the context of this thread to better represent what this thread is about. Also I still think you have an open question from @Sana Jalili about what wet lab prototypes you will be running to advance the project.

I was thinking that you might not do the work unless you get the funding, is that correct? Or are there experiments you will be trying even if the funding doesn't come through.


adrian Tue 17 Oct 2023 1:24PM

Hi Danny,

Good to her from you.

Both projects have been approved.

I understand it's most likely that only the enzyme cooler one
will be funded due to lack of funds.

We asked the Experiment guys to put the magnetic beads one on
hold but I see they launched. I'll ask them again, sometimes the
communication is slow.

We thought there will be more interest from the BWB in
participating in this area.

For @Sana Jalili and to answer your question. Of course,
depending on the funding we will do the project that gets funded
first however we intend to do both. There is a lab note or if not
I'll add one about all the genetic editing for the magnetic
purification. For the Enzyme cooler we will do just cultures and
monitor the yield unless @Sana
Jalili has more ideas.



I just hope that the


Danny Tue 28 Nov 2023 3:04PM

@adrian I saw that one project was taken down but the other was funded! Congrats. Is there any thing you want to use this thread for now or can I archive it?