Team:UCL E/Product/Box


Revision as of 22:44, 28 October 2013 by PhilippBoeing (Talk | contribs)

Darwin Toolbox

<img src="Ucl_Top_labeled.png" />

Darwin Toolbox is our first product towards making synthetic biology more accessible. Key design considerations were ease of use and affordability. Our first version contains the core tools for biotechnology. Darwin Toolbox will also effortlessly connect to a computer and synchronise experimental data such as pictures of gel runs, PCR profiles and timestamps. Future iterations of the Darwin Toolbox will include features such as synthetic biology breadboarding and networking to other boxes. Darwin Toolbox will ship with all the necessary accessories, such as pipettes and tubes, as well as a highly curated selection of reagents.

Prototype Design

PCR machine

The PCR machine design went through several iterations to maximise heat transfer. Our prototype is made of aluminium. Aluminium has a low specific heat capacity and good conductance, which makes it well suited for the PCR machine, in addition to being easy to machine during manufacture. The PCR machine is designed to contain a maximum number of tubes in the heater block with the same footprint as the Peltier that powers the heat transfer. As the number tube holes increase, there is less block material hence less thermal mass to heat and cool which ensures faster heat transitions.

Public BioBrick Exhibition

Public BioBrick Exhibition

Centrifuge The centrifuge is powered by a fan and can reach up to 3000 RPM. A fan is a cost-effective alternative to a brushless motor, while non-brushless motors are noisy. Our hardware are researching the most effective relative centrifugal force for our design.


Gel Electrophoresis and Transilluminator

The key element of the gel box is the power supply. As our design is targeted towards a younger audience, we aim to avoid high voltage. While our current prototype reaches 120V, our team are researching a 40V power supply as a safer alternative.

PCB Design

The electronics are designed as an Arduino Duemilanove shield and provide an interface between the micro-controller and the various hardware in the toolbox. The PCB is a two layered PCB designed to control one high power device on a H-bridge (up to 100W), four low power devices (up to 20W) and contains connections for several I2C devices and thermistors.

Picture: PCB design for the Arduino shield, front and back