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….”

Robotic microscopy for everyone: the OpenFlexure Microscope – preLights

“Microscopes are an essential tool for clinical applications including diagnosis of infectious pathogens in endemic areas, and for scientific analysis in basic biology and physics labs. However, in much of the world, access to microscopy is limited by the cost of acquisition and maintenance of the imaging equipment. Moreover, in resource-limited settings, the chain of supply of parts that might need repair or replacement might not be as easily available, leading to high-end microscopes being out of service for long times until maintenance can take place. Open-source hardware has the potential to revolutionise the distribution of scientific instrumentation, impacting research in multiple ways, as well as local manufacturing, and education. To this end, in multiple contexts including research and clinics, 3D printers have become increasingly available. As a direct result of this, 3D printing has become a useful platform for prototyping and manufacturing laboratory devices. In their preprint, Collins et al (1) present the OpenFlexure Microscope design, a 3D printed automated microscope capable of motorised sample positioning and focus control (Figure 1)….”

Leveraging Open Hardware to Alleviate the Burden of COVID-19 on Global Health Systems[v1] | Preprints

Abstract:  With the current rapid spread of COVID-19, global health systems are increasingly overburdened by the sheer number of people that need diagnosis, isolation and treatment. Shortcomings are evident across the board, from staffing, facilities for rapid and reliable testing to availability of hospital beds and key medical-grade equipment. The scale and breadth of the problem calls for an equally substantive response not only from frontline workers such as medical staff and scientists, but from skilled members of the public who have the time, facilities and knowledge to meaningfully contribute to a consolidated global response. Here, we summarise community-driven approaches based on Free and Open Source scientific and medical Hardware (FOSH) currently being developed and deployed to bolster access to personal protective equipment (PPE), patient treatment and diagnostics.


‘A worldwide hackathon’: Hospitals turn to crowdsourcing and 3D printing amid equipment shortages

“Earlier this month, the CEO of an Italian 3D-printing startup learned that a hospital near the center of the coronavirus outbreak in Italy was running short on a small but crucial component: the valves that connect respirators to oxygen masks.

The company that makes the valves couldn’t keep up with the demand, and doctors were in search of a solution.


“When we heard about the shortage, we got in touch with the hospital immediately. We printed some prototypes. The hospital tested them and told us they worked,” the CEO, Cristian Fracassi, told Reuters. “So we printed 100 valves, and I delivered them personally.”

Similar efforts have popped up around the world. In Liverpool, New York, Isaac Budmen and Stephanie Keefe were printing more than 300 face shields for workers at a coronavirus test site in Syracuse this week, according to The Post-Standard of Syracuse. Budmen and Keefe, who run a business, Budmen Industries, selling custom 3D printers out of their home, turned to a fleet of 16 3D printers in their basement….”