Cheap Do-It-Yourself Small Volume UV Spectrometer for Nucleic Acid and Protein Quantitation

Summary

Minimization of the use of valuable biological materials is a critical factor that affects the viability of any assay. Small volume UV spectrometry allows researchers to use minimal amounts of solution to check the purity and quantity of their DNA and protein samples. Unfortunately, currently available small volume UV spectrometers have a relatively high cost. This project aims at creating an open source small volume UV spectrometer as a cheap alternative to the pre-existing ones. By using LEDs as the UV light source, and cheap UV sensors that can be processed and analyzed via an Arduino system, this once expensive system can now be affordable for not well-funded labs, or potentially labs in resource poor countries. Additionally, we intend to use 3D printing to create the housing for the instrument, with the hope that the flexibility provided by this approach will allow future users to modify the spectrometer based on their research needs.

   
  
 
  
    
  
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    Figure        SEQ Figure \* ARABIC     1      : 2D Design Schematics where A) Contains a LED on the detachable probe and B) The enclosure contains both the LED and Sensor.

Figure 1: 2D Design Schematics where A) Contains a LED on the detachable probe and B) The enclosure contains both the LED and Sensor.

The Team

Screen Shot 2018-01-25 at 12.22.23.png

Joseph Wong, PhD Student, Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology, University of Cambridge. Joseph received much training on electronics design and programming in his bachelor’s degree. He will aim at designing the user interface and signal processing.

Dushanth Seevaratnam, PhD Student, Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology, University of Cambridge. Dushanth, worked as an optics technician for 2 years before coming to Cambridge. He will share his knowledge by building the optical unit of the spectrometer and the hardware enclosure.


Project Outputs

Project Report.png

Project Report

Project report and documentation on Github

Proposal.png

Project Proposal

Original proposal and application