Group 5 – VULCAN

Team Members

Christian Wethington, George Gonzalez, Hannah Glas, Christopher Clavier, Zachary McClure, Andrea Marrou, Justin Gehrke, Vanessa Franco


Vulcan is a unique, autonomous microbioreactor featuring two separate environmentally controlled enclosed chambers, one built to house ten conical test tubes, and the other to accommodate three standard ANSI well-plates of any size. These well plates and tubes are attached to their own shaker system, each capable of shaking the samples in linear, orbital, and double orbital motions. A bed of LEDs sits beneath each well plate and tube to provide the possibility of measuring the optical density and fluorescent intensity of each individual sample. A sealing film is placed over each well-plate and tube to prevent spillage during shaking while still allowing for optical measurements and the transfer of liquids. Each enclosure contains separately designed liquid handling subsystems to best accommodate respective culture housings. Vulcan provides three-axis motion for process completion where two axes are driven by the liquid handler and the third is driven by the shaker system. The system utilizes an intricate HVAC system consisting of in-line fans, check valves, rubber ducting, filter box to remove biological and hazardous particles from the outlet air stream, and a mini R-134a vapor compression refrigerator. Boasting heating and cooling times less than two minutes, Vulcan can rapidly change the temperature of each individual chamber over the range 4◦C-70◦C. The system is controlled through a downloadable software, connecting to the microbioreactor via USB cable to a laptop or computer.

Pitch Video


Final Video