We live in an era of global concerns. Hardware should not be isolated from other discussions, as manufacturing, sustainability, functionality and versatility. Although a hollow silver spiral with a fancy shape might work for eating a soup, a spoon could do the job in a more effective way. And this is how engineering becomes elegant.
We would love to run fast enough to chase this sort of elegance!
Hardware is not only about automating lab protocols, but creating a piece of technology that is able to make a relevant contribution to the society while representing the idea of development and sustainability.
We designed a plan such that we can contribute to develop the potentiality of biology into engineering. And it translates into a piece of hardware, the ambassador of what we have called “The internet of BioThings (IoBT)”.
Our device is an IoBT node, and it has the following features:
It can be manufactured and assembled in an affordable way by anyone worldwide, regardless its economic capacity. We do not want anyone to be out of our initiative. Our device can be built, anywhere, by anyone.
Micro-volumes of any targeted fluid can be pumped automatically into any microfluidic chip, thanks to our simple electromechanical system.
A user-friendly control software and a PC interface allow the user to program personalized lab protocols.
A versatile microfluidic workbench permits the user to play with variable sizes of microfluidic chips, enabling the modular disposition of microfluidic chips as well.Two modules might be placed in series or in parallel, as an electronic circuit.
A custom-made WIFI module is programmed to upload to the cloud any data related to the experiment. Therefore we grant a real-time backup of any ongoing experiments.
A previously existing open source potentiostat software has been adapted and integrated into our device as the module responsible os the whole system of measurement.
Our aptasensor is based on an affordable electrode that has been integrated into our microfluidic chip. Although the electrode is manufactured in Spain, its cost is reduced compared to other proposals.
A mockup of an iOS app will show the potentiality of our hardware. We plan to simulate a cloud of nodes, where our device will serve as one of them. The difference is that our node will upload the data that will collect in the iGEM exhibition, while the others will be mere simulations.
These features have been carefully integrated into a piece of hardware that we consider that follow our way of conceiving hardware. Hardware should answer many questions besides the technological ones.
Embracing global concerns, we would love to promote a conception of hardware that will be manifested under the global conception of humanity, development, and responsibility.