A versatile and customizable low-cost 3D-printed open standard for microscopic imaging | Nature Communications

Abstract:  Modern microscopes used for biological imaging often present themselves as black boxes whose precise operating principle remains unknown, and whose optical resolution and price seem to be in inverse proportion to each other. With UC2 (You. See. Too.) we present a low-cost, 3D-printed, open-source, modular microscopy toolbox and demonstrate its versatility by realizing a complete microscope development cycle from concept to experimental phase. The self-contained incubator-enclosed brightfield microscope monitors monocyte to macrophage cell differentiation for seven days at cellular resolution level (e.g. 2??m). Furthermore, by including very few additional components, the geometry is transferred into a 400 Euro light sheet fluorescence microscope for volumetric observations of a transgenic Zebrafish expressing green fluorescent protein (GFP). With this, we aim to establish an open standard in optics to facilitate interfacing with various complementary platforms. By making the content and comprehensive documentation publicly available, the systems presented here lend themselves to easy and straightforward replications, modifications, and extensions.

A microscope for everyone: Researchers develop open-source optical toolbox

“Modern microscopes used for biological imaging are expensive, are located in specialized laboratories and require highly qualified staff. To research novel, creative approaches to address urgent scientific issues—for example in the fight against infectious diseases such as COVID-19—is thus primarily reserved for scientists at well-equipped research institutions in rich countries. A young research team from the Leibniz Institute of Photonic Technology (Leibniz IPHT) in Jena, the Friedrich Schiller University and Jena University Hospital wants to change this: The researchers have developed an optical toolbox to build microscopes for a few hundred euros that deliver high-resolution images comparable to commercial microscopes that cost a hundred to a thousand times more. With open-source blueprints, components from the 3-D printer and smartphone camera, the UC2 (You. See. Too.) modular system can be combined specifically in the way the research question requires….”

Open source tools provide an economic advantage for science | Opensource.com

“Free and open source software (FOSS) and the distributed digital manufacturing of free and open source hardware (FOSH) have shown great promise for developing custom scientific tools. For some time now, FOSH has provided scientists a high return on investment. In fact, my previous research in the Open Source Lab reported substantial economic savings from using these technologies. However, the open source design paradigm has since grown by orders of magnitude; now, there are examples of open source technology for science in the vast majority of disciplines, and several resources, including the Journal of Open Hardware, are dedicated to publishing them….”

CERN: the Large Hadron Collider : Publications : Resources : Venner Shipley

“As with every scientific institute, CERN recognises that there is both an obligation and willingness for knowledge transfer, so that the discoveries and knowledge gained by its scientists can be disseminated to, and applied in, the real world to the benefit of the public. CERN is therefore no exception in trying to make its technologies available for both scientific and commercial purposes. An open science policy, however, requires there to be a ‘full and timely disclosure of findings and methods’ and in this regard there is often seen to be a conflict between open science and intellectual property (IP).

Two notable cases are evident from CERN’s history. In the 1970s, CERN pioneered the use of touch screens and trackballs in their computerised control systems. However, researchers were unable to progress this technology further as industrial partners were unwilling to invest, in the event that CERN would disclose this technology under the remit of their open science model. Thus, without the kinds of assurance provided by IP, touch screens and trackballs remained in house, without further development. In contrast, whilst working with Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, CERN agreed to release the World Wide Web software into the public domain in 1993 and followed the next release with an open licence. The subsequent global dissemination and use of the World Wide Web speaks for itself….”

Open Source impact study – OpenForum Europe

“OpenForum Europe and Fraunhofer ISI are conducting a study on the impact of Open Source Software and Hardware on technological independence, competitiveness and innovation in Europe for the European Commission. The work has started in January and will end in December 2020. 

Read more about the consortium, the rationale behind the project and its goals. It is a long-awaited initiative, serving as a scientific basis for future Open Source policymaking in Europe and with a potential global impact. You can also see the possibilities to contribute, as we are welcoming researchers and others involved in Open Source to share their thoughts….”

BEaTS-? an Open Access 3D Printed Device for in Vitro Electromechanical Stimulation of Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells – PubMed

Abstract:  3D printing was used to develop an open access device capable of simultaneous electrical and mechanical stimulation of human induced pluripotent stem cells in 6-well plates. The device was designed using Computer-Aided Design (CAD) and 3D printed with autoclavable, FDA-approved materials. The compact design of the device and materials selection allows for its use inside cell incubators working at high humidity without the risk of overheating or corrosion. Mechanical stimulation of cells was carried out through the cyclic deflection of flexible, translucent silicone membranes by means of a vacuum-controlled, open-access device. A rhythmic stimulation cycle was programmed to create a more physiologically relevant in vitro model. This mechanical stimulation was coupled and synchronized with in situ electrical stimuli. We assessed the capabilities of our device to support cardiac myocytes derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells, confirming that cells cultured under electromechanical stimulation presented a defined/mature cardiomyocyte phenotype. This 3D printed device provides a unique high-throughput in vitro system that combines both mechanical and electrical stimulation, and as such, we foresee it finding applications in the study of any electrically responsive tissue such as muscles and nerves.


Introducing the World’s Largest Medical Repair Database, Free for Everyone – iFixit

“Hospitals are having trouble getting service information to fix medical equipment—and it’s not just a COVID-19 problem. We’ve heard countless stories from biomedical technicians (biomeds, for short) about how medical device manufacturers make their jobs more difficult by restricting access to repair information. 

Thanks to travel limitations, the problem is bigger than ever. Manufacturer service reps can’t keep pace with the growing demand for repair of critical hospital equipment. Even if they could, they can’t respond as quickly as the biomeds, already at the front lines. Unfortunately, biomeds spend innumerable hours scouring the internet, searching for crucial repair information they need to make a fix or perform preventative maintenance. This is not a good way to run a health system!

So we’re fixing it. For the last two months, iFixit has pivoted half of its staff toward building the world’s most comprehensive medical equipment service database. It’s a central, multi-manufacturer library of user manuals and repair documentation for thousands of devices. We just posted more than 13,000 manuals from hundreds of manufacturers, online and available for use immediately. You can find them in our Medical Device category….”


“Glia uses an open-access research, development and distribution model to create high-quality low-cost medical devices that are then clinically validated

We want to change the way people interact with their devices. Providing communities with open-access low-cost medical devices fosters a culture of self-reliance and sustainability. If low-resource communities can access the equipment they need via an open-access model, they are empowered to troubleshoot problems, customize designs to meet their needs and share their findings with others. The ability to share successes in an open-access environment allows medical and technical communities to work together and avoid duplication of work and long feedback cycles. This model allows off-patent devices to exist as high-quality low-cost generic models, which also exerts downward pressure on prices for high-quality premium brands….”

Can low-cost, open-source ventilator designs help save lives? – MIT Technology Review

“MIT researchers hope to publish open-source designs for a low-cost respirator that could potentially help Covid-19 patients struggling with critical respiratory problems.

The motorized device automatically compresses widely available bag valve masks, the sort of manual resuscitator used by ambulance crews to assist patients with breathing problems. The designs could arrive as a growing number of engineers, medical students, and hobbyists attempt to build or share specifications for makeshift respirators—of unknown quality and safety—amid rising fears of widespread shortages as the coronavirus epidemic escalates….”

MIT-based team works on rapid deployment of open-source, low-cost ventilator | MIT News

“One of the most pressing shortages facing hospitals during the Covid-19 emergency is a lack of ventilators. These machines can keep patients breathing when they no longer can on their own, and they can cost around $30,000 each. Now, a rapidly assembled volunteer team of engineers, physicians, computer scientists, and others, centered at MIT, is working to implement a safe, inexpensive alternative for emergency use, which could be built quickly around the world.

The team, called MIT E-Vent (for emergency ventilator), was formed on March 12 in response to the rapid spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. Its members were brought together by the exhortations of doctors, friends, and a sudden flood of mail referencing a project done a decade ago in the MIT class 2.75 (Medical Device Design). Students and faculty working in consultation with local physicians designed a simple ventilator device that could be built with about $100 worth of parts, although in the years since prices have gone up and the device would now cost $400 to $500 in materials. They published a paper detailing their design and testing, but the work ended at that point. Now, with a significant global need looming, a new team, linked to that course, has resumed the project at a highly accelerated pace….”