Open labware for better life science[Bearbeiten]
Handling and analysing biological samples with high throughput as well as reproducing published results are currently key challenges for the life sciences. Research groups and education laboratories are typically limited by technological infrastructure because of either their high cost, the lack of interdisciplinary knowledge to build equipment from scratch, or because of insufficient information provided by publications. I am already addressing these issues with the Open Source Hardware documentation standard DocuBricks and the Journal of Open Hardware, which serve the appropriate documentation of these interdisciplinary resources, peer-review and open access release. With the fellowship Offenes Wissen, I aim to collaboratively develop, document and publish Open Hardware infrastructure pieces that open up the type of research I pursue at the EMBL: High throughput handling and analysis of biological cells with microfluidic and macrofluidic liquid handling technology. This project is based on side projects, grants and community workshops of mine over the last years and builds on open digital technologies such as 3d printing and open source electronic controllers, as well as recent developments in biohacking community labs. With this project I aim to illustrate how an open and collaborative approach to scientific instrumentation leads to improved reproducibility and customisation of experiments, as well as increased equality of opportunity between labs, as custom designs typically only cost one to ten percent of the commercial equivalent (if available). The growing research community of microfluidics and liquid handling is notoriously insular as well as commercial, creating an even stronger need for open hardware approaches in this field.