Michael DeLuca, Andrej Grubisic, Sara Guzmán, Lucas Jacob, Jonathan Lau, Connor Lysek, and Ahmad Sharif
In this research project, our team seeks to supply the UF Biofoundry with a semi-autonomous microbioreactor which can cross-examine cellular properties in larger volumes than those commercially available. As specified by the customer, the proposed system will execute two key functions: the culturing of microbes in fully enclosed receptacles and the measurement of optical density and fluorescent intensity data for interpretation of culture condition by the operator. Our design will strive to be the most efficient and user-friendly microbioreactor among all of those submitted for proposal. Efficiency will be accomplished via a rack and pinion inspired fluid transport subsystem, allowing simultaneous dual-axial motion. Further, placement of OD/FI sensors on the liquid handling subsystem allows for measurements to be taken in close succession with fluid transport. Heating and cooling units allow for temperature control within a desired range of 4°C to 70°C based on the vapor compression refrigeration cycle. User-friendliness is accomplished with an intuitive tablet-based interface requiring minimal input, allowing the user to control the culture within a temperature range from 4°C to 70°C, a dispensing volume range from 5 μL to 20,000 μL, and adjust the number and size of well tubes. Overall, our team’s microbioreactor concept serves to improve the UF Biofoundry’s laboratory resources across campus which in turn provides a new opportunity to students looking to further expand their experience in this field.