Cornell University Genetically Engineered Machines

Drylab Overview

Once the fungus has been successfully transformed, we need to grow a sufficiently large amount of mycelia to produce organofoam. In order to view our final product, we decided to build a custom incubation chamber to produce the optimal environmental conditions needed to grow fungal mycelium.

Fungi are grown most easily in a hot and humid environment making control over temperature and humidity the primary objective. Light levels and atmospheric carbon dioxide play secondary roles and are future goals for the incubator. In order to control these environmental factors, we decided to build a custom incubator. While commercial incubators are available, very few handle all four of these factors. Those that do are typically greenhouse-level environmental controllers, which far exceed what we need. Thus, we decided on a bench-top-sized incubator which would be large enough to culture enough fungi but would still be portable.

We are using Arduino Fio with ATMega328P chip microprocessor as the nexus of our control system. The microcontroller will recieve environmental data from our sensors, process it, and automatically adjust the necessary parameters. Thus far, we have completed the construction of our incubator chassis and our heating and humidity control circuits. Control of these two variables is the most critical aspect of our incubator. Our future goals include design and implementation of light and carbon dioxide control and PCB design.
temperaturecalibration Solidworks sketches of the incubator design and cross-section.
PCB design schematic