symbiolab is an open & DIY biolaboratory

What?

An open lab for biological research, composed of low cost and DIY components, yet capable of high-end research.

How?

We use existing low cost and DIY tools to create a functional laboratory. We fill the existing gaps in low cost equipment by adding new tools to the open bioware repository and optimizing it for research purposes.

Areas of interest?

Life and natural sciences with the focus on the fields we believe will shape our future: urban farming, biomaterials, combined with 3D printing, nanotechnology and sustainable development.

Mission

Making knowledge and resources available to everyone looking for information and wanting to participate in research. After all, we believe that the only requirements for it are passion and curiosity.

In sync with IRNAS institutes mission to bring scientific knowledge and new technologies to the public, we wish to add life sciences to our spectrum of investigation. We are facing a high discrepancy between basic and applied research today and we hope to narrow this gap by promoting citizen science and making knowledge and resources available to everyone looking for information and wanting to participate in research.

PROJECTS

Mushroom cultivation

We've created a set-up, which allows us to study mycorrhiza and hopefully symbiotic-mushroom cultivation. To achieve this, we are adopting existing technologies and trying to exploit and combine their different advantages, such as the stability of solid medium cultivation and the flexibility and control of hydroponics. In addition, we will test different methods of inoculation and incubation to determine the optimal conditions and maximize our chances of success.

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3D Bioprinter Vitaprint

Our long-term goal with this project is to develop an open source bioprinter that will include all the features that high-end bioprinters do, and add to it modularity and affordability. We believe assisting the researchers around the globe by increasing the accessibility of bioprinting can significantly accelerate the release of some important scientific results that may improve the human well-being.

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Surface modification of a turtle tag

In partnership with our colleagues from the London ZOO we are working on a cheap, yet durable and reliable, geo tracker for sea turtles. The current model is already being applied in practice, but we are trying to improve it by modifying the surface to make it self-cleanable and dry fast after getting out of the water, which will contribute to the rapid and stable connectivity with the nearest satellites.

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Bio Labware Review

We've put together a complete collection of affordable and DIY laboratory equipment, which is required for common methodology in a biological research lab. We've created a list of required equipment, describing the hardware, its use, commercial costs and the current DIY status. This list includes links to DIY examples, it however does not contain actual plans for our designs, this will come later. To make the content more legible, the equipment is organized into categories, such as preparation, microscopy, chromatography, proteomics,... Find out more in our Github repository bio-labware.

Check Bio Labware Review
Labware

Setting up symbiolab - an open bio lab

We obtained new facilities in Tkalka, which we transformed into a bio laboratory - a general laboratory dedicated to biological an "wetchemical" research, which is also used as a public space for everyone interested in doing research in life sciences. The second lab, which will be arranged for work under sterile conditions in a finely adjusted climate, is going to be set up in the following months.

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WORKSHOPS

Symbiolab Workshops

In the past months we've successfully organized several workshops (Optical microscopy - Make your own microscope, DIY spectrometry, Simple DIY soil analysis) to offer a hands-on learning experience in bio-science to students and everyone else interested. Please, get in contact if you're interested in hosting, joining or co-organizing a bio workshop.

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