DIYbio:Notebook/Open Gel Box 2.0

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<!-- sibboleth --><div id="lncal1" style="border:0px;"><div style="display:none;" id="id">lncal1</div><div style="display:none;" id="dtext">12/10/2008,12/15/2008,12/21/2008,01/06/2009,01/30/2009</div><div style="display:none;" id="page">DIYbio:Notebook/Open Gel Box 2.0</div><div style="display:none;" id="fmt">yyyy/MM/dd</div><div style="display:none;" id="css">OWWNB</div><div style="display:none;" id="month"></div><div style="display:none;" id="year"></div><div style="display:none;" id="readonly">Y</div></div>

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Project Description/Abstract

The sexiest gel box
Beautiful SYBRsafe test by Norman Wang
Your LEDs are showing! (all 64 of them)

Gel electrophoresis is one of the most basic and commonly used tools for molecular biology. However, the gel electrophoresis chambers available on the market often lack essential features that would make this daily routine more pleasant. We aim to create a professional grade open and extensible electrophoresis gel box, available as design documents, unassembled, and assembled kits for researchers to obtain and improve upon.

Visualizing gel bands is also essential, either with a blue transilluminator or a UV transilluminator. We chose the blue transilluminator because it is safer for the user, doesn't degrade DNA, and doesn't require ethidium bromide. 4/10/09: We really like the way this project is working out -- fundamentally we're making science open and user-friendly. Our next job is to turn the Open Gel Box RFC into reality by making instructions, boxes, and kits available. To facilitate this, Norman and I have founded a DIYbio company, Pearl Biotech.

Next up: Open Thermal Cycler! Interested in designing, testing, contributing?

Active Members

Norman Wang, Tito Jankowski

On-Haitus Members: Jim Hardy, Mackenzie Cowell, Mike Katsevman


6/13/15: Wow, 6 years later! Interesting. Well, designing a gel box and blue transilluminator was a lot of fun. Getting the gel box waterproof is a pain, but getting the blue transilluminator working is pretty straightforwards. At this point, Pearl Biotech focuses on just blue transilluminators. We just released a new blue transilluminator model with a ton more LEDs (251 LEDs). It's much brighter and easier to use. It would be easy to publish the design documents as well, I just haven't gotten around to it. Email me if you want a copy ( (Tito)

4/10/09: Our first design is really pulling its weight in our tests. Norman found some great 64 LED arrays and designed a custom PCR board to get them booted up. We've got a few bugs still to stomp -- and are shipping beta copies to an invite-only crowd by the end of April. (Tito)

3/15/09: The first design is complete. Once we get the design cleaned up and tested, we'll be posting links to both DIY kits and preassembled gel systems. The orange/blue filter works really well - check out this pic (left is the professional $100 light filter, middle is the orange/blue combo we went with for our final design):

Professional filter, acrylic #1, acrylic #2 (l,r), 3/1/09

Features we like from other boxes

Materials and costs

Transilluminator design requirements

Power supply design requirements

Consumables research and notes - agarose, running buffer, markers

Request For Comments (RFC)

RFC1 (draft), read BBF RFC0 for editing guidelines

Recently Edited Notebook Pages