I have been working on developing an open hardware platform for microfluidics. One of the issues for microfluidic wetware is all the other stuff that you need to run it. The temperature control, the valves, all gets reengineered from scratch in everybody's lab. I saw an opportunity there to create a demand for a product, something that could be the basis for a much bigger ecosystem I guess.

So this is one part of it. There is much more to the research I've been doing. This is a 3d printed incubator. I think the open source 3d printer could reproduce this. It would have to be redesigned to work on a MakerBot. It would be designed to manufacture on everything. It's under $2k, that's if you're buying assembled circuit boards, and having it certified by a service beaureu. So some of tehse features is that it's modular, there are different parts to it, the wings can adapt to stage adapters, it includes onboard humidification. It's also airtight, you can regulate the flow gas, the flow gas mixtures, appoxia or any other combination for the experiment. It's small and designed to fit one device, so the standard 25 mL dish. During the course of using this in the lab, what all those engineering hours in for-profit companies are for, like the bugs that get smaller and smaller and smaller. You need to eliminate those to get it to be something to build on. There's tiny miniature fans, there's 5 temperature sensors, and we've also added, and even if we have no need for it, there's an i2c and decent amount of power available to run microfluidic devices.

Then another important part is that it's modular. We can swap out lids, and this lid is actually a chip to world interface for microfluidic devices. The idea is now that uh, scientist-developer who makes their assay or chip can design a compatible lid for it. This enables them to leverage the hardware platform, the hardware kernel, I'm calling it kernel because, computers in computers the kernel provided the interface between the two. I see this as a bridge between software and wetware. It allows the scientist-developer to make a device leveraging this device kernel thing.

It's gone through multiple revisions. These are two newer systems. These are very basic needs in microscopy. Commercial products start at $10k and don't approach the technical capabilities of this. The very inspiring talk just before me- it can be cycled up and down. I can imagine the day when people have these instruments or derivatives of it, and they're running wetware from other developers on it.

Also, 3d printed molds for microfluidic devices. A chip to world interface needs features on both sides of the chip. There needs to be cut and paste stuff. There's also single layer valves so you don't need to do the expensive layer-to-layer alignment. It's not expensive per se, it's just very low yield. Now you can produce microfluidic devices that has valves as well as chip to world interface, and 60 psi on chip to facilitate fluid handling. There's a whole system that allows- it's not trivial to make a microfluidic device that is tasked on both sides.

So we have a specialized casting system for benchtop production of microfluidic systems.

Pneumatic valve controller - scalable control of microfluidic devices.

The control of the pneumatic valves and pressure driven folds, so we do a manifold, we have two versions, it's expandable, one can give pressure gradients or you can do control flows. Another one that has more channels but can really only do digital on/off control.

My research has been supported on a number of people.

SDCSB NIGMS Ellison Medical Foundation

It's going to be a dual licensed model. Companies will pay royalties back to the project. There will be patents.