Using custom automations to control your Pioreactor

Using custom automations to control your Pioreactor
Inspired by this paper by Knutson et al., (2018), we created a new temperature automation that cycles temperature as a sine wave between 30°C and 40°C over 24 hours. With this new automation, and in our expanded Pioreactor/turbidostat system, we grew some yeast over the weekend – and the findings are quite interesting! 

Pioreactor dev blog #19 - New hardware pages

Pioreactor dev blog #19 - New hardware pages
We've been working with a cluster of prototype Pioreactors with slight build modifications, but we have settled on an optimized design. As such, we've recently updated our documentation site to include a new hardware setup section in our User Guide. Check it out!

Pioreactor dev blog #18 - Vial holder

Pioreactor dev blog #18 - Vial holder

Another cool thing we designed is a special vial holder, so you can organize your experiments with ease. 

We allocated 4 slots for vials and are in the process of creating holders of varying sizes. It has a wider bottom versus top for more stability, and debossing under each vial to mitigate potential slipping. It also includes a deboss of our logo!

Pioreactor dev blog #17 - Noisy data

Pioreactor dev blog #17 - Noisy data

Over the last two weeks that I’ve been here, I’ve been thinking about a whole variety of tests we can do with the Pioreactor (and adding them to our repository!). We’ve started with some basic experiments, changing parameters such as temperature and salt content to observe any changes in growth rate in yeast. 

This is not without its hiccups. We noticed some peculiar noise that occurred for only a few minutes at a time in some vials...

Pioreactor dev log #16 - Cables

Pioreactor dev log #16 - Cables
As we start to take a more critical eye at our project, we are revisiting parts of the Pioreactor that started as temporary hacks, but now need to be updated. Two really positive changes that we've decided on are our cable assemblies. Let me explain. 

Pioreactor dev log #15

Pioreactor dev log #15
It's been a while! We're back at it again after one us took some time off as a new parent. We've got updates on improvements to the experiment workflow, and mechanical improvements. Let's jump back in

The different strategies of bioreactors: chemostat, turbidostat, stressostat, and more

The different strategies of bioreactors: chemostat, turbidostat, stressostat, and more

Bioreactors have an advantage of being able to closely control an environment for microbes. Often, we wish for a bioreactor to precisely control a single, important variable, and we observe how the microbes respond. We can even push this variable to an extreme value - to an environment that the microbes are not familiar with, with interesting results. Let's explore the "zoo" of ⋆-stat strategies, what they are used for, how to implement them, and how microbes respond. 

Pioreactor Dev log #14 - Our hardware, version 2

Pioreactor Dev log #14 - Our hardware, version 2

Happy holidays! This week we look at our latest iteration of the Pioreactor HAT. New features include cleaner interfacing with the heater PCB, an EEPROM, StemmaQT connection, and more.  We've been working on the version 2 of our HAT for over 6 months now, putting together all the improvements, learnings, and ideas since testing our version 1 board. In this post, we'll go through some of the changes that we are most excited about. 

Pioreactor dev log #13 - Heating improvements

Pioreactor dev log #13 - Heating improvements
Each Pioreactor has built-in heating and temperature sensors. I emphasize temperature sensors, since I've used enough hot plates to not trust a graduated knob to have any reliability. With a combination of heating and temperature sensors, the Pioreactor is able to keep a set temperature for the culture, regardless of the Pioreactor variations in the construction, ambient temperature, etc.