Pierre Baillargeon, M.S. Computer Engineering
Senior Robotics Engineer
Scripps Florida-Spicer/Scampavia Lab, FL, United States
Open source project repositories are places where end users can find a wide variety of readily available materials including documentation, code, electronic schematics and CAD models. The projects contained in these repositories represent diverse fields of interest, including many in life science. To that end, many tools needed for use in the modern lab are free online, along with the necessary details to reproduce and modify them. The ability to customize these projects is of particular interest as it allows repurposing to fit the tasks for which they are needed.
In the screening center at Scripps Florida, we have leveraged the DIYbio orbital shaker first published on Thingiverse, to rapidly deploy customized orbital shakers in support of high-throughput screening. The primary benefit of this open source design was that the orbital shakers had very small device footprints which meant many devices could be fit inside of an incubator simultaneously to support the scale of cell culture needed to support HTS. Deploying these open source orbital shakers required modification of the published CAD files to improve the reliability the shakers and to accommodate cell culture flask clamps, development of additional electronics and creation of open source documentation to facilitate assembly and repair efforts. We have deployed ten of these low-cost orbital shakers since October 2019, which were successfully utilized in support of a high throughput screening campaign with increased efficiency and reduced costs.