Automated microbeam observation environment for biological analysis—Custom portable environmental control applied to a vertical microbeam system

Matthew J. England, Alan W. Bigelow, Michael J. Merchant, Eirini Velliou, David Welch, David J. Brenner, Karen J. Kirkby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Vertical Microbeams (VMB) are used to irradiate individual cells with low MeV energy ions. The irradiation of cells using VMBs requires cells to be removed from an incubator; this can cause physiological changes to cells because of the lower CO2 concentration, temperature and relative humidity outside of the incubator. Consequently, for experiments where cells require irradiation and observation for extended time periods, it is important to provide a controlled environment. The highly customised nature of the microscopes used on VMB systems means that there are no commercially available environmentally controlled microscope systems for VMB systems. The Automated Microbeam Observation Environment for Biological Analysis (AMOEBA) is a highly flexible modular environmental control system used to create incubator conditions on the end of a VMB. The AMOEBA takes advantage of the recent “maker” movement to create an open source control system that can be easily configured by the user to fit their control needs even beyond VMB applications. When applied to the task of controlling cell medium temperature, CO2 concentration and relative humidity on VMBs it creates a stable environment that allows cells to multiply on the end of a VMB over a period of 36 h, providing a low-cost (costing less than $2700 to build), customisable alternative to commercial time-lapse microscopy systems. AMOEBA adds the potential of VMBs to explore the long-term effects of radiation on single cells opening up new research areas for VMBs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1134-1143
Number of pages10
JournalSensors and Actuators, B: Chemical
Volume239
Early online date16 Aug 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2017

Keywords

  • 3D printing
  • Arduino
  • Environmental control
  • Microbeam
  • Time-lapse microscopy

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Manchester Cancer Research Centre

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