Microscopy for fun.
The vast majority of microphotographs have been historically generated from a scientific/engineering viewpoint. Now, low cost and open source hardware is making microscopy more accessible and giving rise to personal/domestic microscopy project as well as a wide range of trans-disciplinary (or non-disciplinary) collaborations. We have been very lucky to work with artists, musicians, designers, architects and high school students in collaborative projects that have enriched our perception and understanding of things. All our images HERE
Low Cost and Open Source Microscopes:
Open hardware has facilitated the fabrication of low cost microscopes (e.g. OpenScope, WaterScope-OpenFlexure, FlyPI, FoldScope, OneDollar Scope, Hackteria, J. Pearce´s scope). With the aim of promoting these technologies in Chile and Argentina, we are working on the construction of three devices:
1- FluoPI: A low cost multi-fluorescent imaging system based on open hardware, easy-to-use genetic resources, long stoke shift fluorescent proteins and python/jupyter for hardware control and data analysis. With Tim Rudge´s lab, Juan Keymer´s lab and Backyard Brains (article here and all data at OSF).
2- Comunicaciones Especulativas: Low cost microscopes based on RPI, 3D printed tube lenses, a modified framework from OpenLabTools and off-the-shelf mechanical parts. With Interspecifics and Juan Keymer´s lab (blog HERE, data HERE, code HERE).
3- Rasti-Scope: a modular-assembly mini-scope (data and links soon).
Some images with these devices:
We hope these instruments will contribute to the development of low cost research and teaching resources for high schools, DIYbio labs and biohacking spaces.
Our work with microscopes has been awarded by international contests such as Nikon Small World, Wellcome Trust Image Awards and Olympus Bioscapes, and featured on several places such as BBC news, WIRED Magazine and Gizmodo, among many others. All thanks to the support and guidance from Jim Haseloff,
Palacio La Moneda – Chile
Universidad de Cambridge – UK.