£5,191
pledged of £20,000pledged of £20,000 goal
28
backers
16days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Sat, December 1 2018 7:02 AM UTC +00:00.

Humane TechnologiesBy Humane Technologies
First created
Humane TechnologiesBy Humane Technologies
First created
£5,191
pledged of £20,000pledged of £20,000 goal
28
backers
16days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Sat, December 1 2018 7:02 AM UTC +00:00.

About

Breaking News!

We have received requests for more than 40 MicrobeMeters from many schools! We need your help to meet all these requests. Please donate now.

We want to enable biological research and data collection for communities of ordinary people, scientists, and students throughout the world!

To achieve this, we design and develop innovative, user-friendly, open source, and affordable measurement equipment. We believe that such equipment will allow biological research and data collection for anyone from under-funded scientists to school students to innovators at heart.  

Why does this matter?

Biology is the most underexplored of scientific disciplines. Yet, biological research is currently confined to well-funded research enterprises and only to professional scientists. If we are to understand, discover, and innovate more in biology, we must enable more people to undertake measurements and experiments in biology. Such democratization of science requires us to reduce the cost and complexity of undertaking biological research and education. This, in turn, calls for the development of innovative, open-source, and affordable research equipment.

Why we need your support?

Your support will allow us to bring to the market our first innovative, open-source, affordable research equipment: MicrobeMeter. This is an innovative device for achieving characterization of microbes. We have the blueprint and first prototypes of this device ready, but need your support to get it ready for mass production and to further develop it for more effective use in schools, under-funded laboratories, and even, in homes.    

Support our first open-source, innovative equipment: MicrobeMeter

What is MicrobeMeter?

MicrobeMeter is a device that allows cultivation of microbes and measurement of their growth over long-time spans at high temporal resolution. Its measurement components are built around the open-source Arduino microprocessor and its casing is 3D-printed. This allows MicrobeMeter to be readily built at a parts-cost of around £150, allowing scientist to conduct experiments, for which they currently need equipment costing more than £1,000.

Who is MicrobeMeter for?

Biology teachers: Use MicrobeMeter in the class room. Build it yourself or get a ready-to-use version to teach your students about what turbidity measurements are and how they are used for quantifying microbial growth. Collect high-resolution data and introduce concepts like data-fitting, growth modeling, and parameter estimation.

Professional scientists: Save yourself money and time with MicrobeMeter. Instead of sampling your microbial cultures for obtaining individual data-points on growth, simply record data at high temporal resolution. Create publication ready growth curves and estimate growth rates under different conditions. Utilize the 4-port measurement capability to implement the common experiment structure of 3 replicates and 1 control/blank.

Innovators/scientists at heart: Record growth dynamics of diverse microbes and characterize new species with MicrobeMeter. Conduct elegant, yet simple, research projects on microbial culture growth-media optimization and impact of different conditions on growth. Share and publish your results, using the same MicrobeMeter design as your colleagues and friends.

Why MicrobeMeter?  

We are starting our journey of creating a full-range of affordable, open-source research equipment in a field that we know best; microbiology.

Microbes are single-celled organisms. We study them to learn the principles of biology and understand our own cells. We also use microbes as a source for medicines, biomaterials, and clean energy! 

Despite more than 100 years of research in microbiology, we have only scratched the surface of the diversity of microbes. Among more than 10,000 microbes, that we know of, only about 500 have ever been grown in a laboratory! Among those 500, detailed research studies have been conducted only on a handful of microbes and by a few well-funded research laboratories.

An un-identified microbe; possibly an Oscillatoria species
An un-identified microbe; possibly an Oscillatoria species

What if we could conduct microbiology experiments at each University, in each class room, and even at community science clubs around the world? Currently, this is not possible because even the first step of cultivating and measuring the growth of microbes requires equipment costing more than £1,000.  

Why MicrobeMeter is innovative?

Aerobic/anaerobic: MicrobeMeter can be used for measuring cell cultures that either require oxygen for growth (aerobic) or do not (anaerobic). Many existing devices can only be used with aerobic organisms. 

Wireless data transfer: MicrobeMeter communicates its measurements to any computer in real-time via Bluetooth. This cannot be done with most existing equipment, requiring scientists to manually sample and measure their microbial cultures. This is a major feature of MicrobeMeter, which also increases data quality (growth sampled automatically at high frequency down to seconds) 

Compact size: MicrobeMeter has a compact design (cylindrical, 13x17cm), allowing it to be used in controlled environments such as shaking incubators or containment chambers. Most of current devices are too big/expensive to be placed in such environments.

What do you get for your support?

We will offer MicrobeMeter in two different forms; Do-It-Yourself kits or as a fully assembled version. For those pledging a smaller contribution, we offer T-shirts, posters and bumper/door stickers symbolizing our vision.

MicrobeMeter DIY kit
MicrobeMeter DIY kit

The MicrobeMeter DIY kit is ideal to learn about how to build a photometer and also interact with 3D-printing technology. It can be assembled by anyone with basic skills in assembly. The DIY kit will come in two flavors, either including the 3D-printed body or not. Each kit will come with an assembled Arduino shield that we also designed (Measure-It) and all the other components required, except for an Arduino Mega.  

MicrobeMeter fully assembled
MicrobeMeter fully assembled

The MicrobeMeter fully assembled version comes ready to use. Just add tubes containing microbial cultures, place in an incubator, and collect publication quality data! This unit is ideal in a research or education setting, either to conduct experiments or teach students about microbial growth dynamics and mathematical modeling thereof. 

What does success mean?

Developing and bringing MicrobeMeter to the market will set us on a road to fulfill our dream of designing and developing a full suite of open-source and innovative equipment for biological research and data collection.

We think of this equipment as a form of humane technologies – giving you intellectual satisfaction from conducting scientific inquiries about your environment and your body. As communities of people, scientists, and students do so, our chance of understanding biology and improving the world around us will increase.

Is MicrobeMeter really open source?

It is but it is not an open-source hardware! MicrobeMeter blueprints are available to download here and all details of its design and application are explained here. With this information, anyone can build MicrobeMeter on their own.

As we design and develop more equipment like MicrobeMeter, our aim is to maintain the open source nature of each one of them, so that anyone, anywhere in the World can either build them on their own or directly purchase from us.

Our journey so far.

Share our vision!

We, Orkun Soyer and Kalesh Sasidharan, are scientists working together since 2013 at the University of Warwick. From 2015 onwards, the idea of an unusual company started to develop from our lunch-break conversations. It combined our interests in ‘making measurements easier and more reproducible’ and in electronics and device design.

    

Risks and challenges

Our vision is to enable an open scientific community of makers, scientists, students, and citizen scientists. To achieve this affordable and innovative research equipment are essential.

We envision MicrobeMeter as a first product among many others to follow. Our long-term goal is to allow people and institutions to establish their own basic life sciences research laboratories at affordable prices. Thus, we aim to develop a full line of open source basic research equipment within the next 2-3 years through our newly established company, Humane Technologies. This is our challenge.

We are qualified to overcome this challenge, coming from an interdisciplinary life sciences research background. Between us, we have over 15 years of biosciences research experience. We are now in the process of assembling a manufacturing and distribution team to enable high volume manufacturing of MicrobeMeter. We are also working with designers and engineers to improving the design of the device to create a MicrobeMeter Pro version. This assembled team will enable us to design and develop many other innovative equipment for biological research.

We are currently on track with these developments and have an estimated delivery time for MicrobeMeter kits and ready-to-use units in January 2019.

Is there some other potential challenge you're wondering about?

If you're wondering, others probably are, too! We would appreciate it if you would email any concerns, questions, and suggestions to: contact@humanetechnologies.co.uk

Thank you for your support!

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    Measure-It Arduino Shield (bare-board)

    The bare-board electronics shield that MicrobeMeter is built upon. This is a PCB implementing an Arduino compatible, operational amplifier circuit. Ready to self-assemble.

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    MicrobeMeter - 3D-casing

    3D-printed casing of the MicrobeMeter. Construction manual is included. See further details at; https://humanetechnologies.co.uk/download-microbemeter/

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    A do-it-yourself kit for MicrobeMeter. This unit comes with a plastic container and the necessary electronic elements to make a MicrobeMeter (excluding the Arduino Mega micro controller). Construction manual is included. See further details at; https://humanetechnologies.co.uk/shop-microbemeter-diy-kit/

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    MicrobeMeter - DIY kit and 3D-casing

    A do-it-yourself kit for MicrobeMeter. This unit comes with a 3D-printed casing, a plastic container, and the necessary electronic elements to make a MicrobeMeter (excluding the Arduino Mega micro controller). Construction manual is included. See further details at; https://humanetechnologies.co.uk/shop-microbemeter-diy-kit/

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    MicrobeMeter - assembled & ready to use

    A fully assembled, ready to use MicrobeMeter. Great for growing microbes and measuring their growth rates online at seconds resolution. See further details at; https://humanetechnologies.co.uk/shop-microbemeter/

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