These projects have been announced in papers, preprints, and/or websites. They require significant work in technical development and/or documentation before they will be ready for broad use.
Why: The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed fundamental structural limitations of the global medical device industry in making medical equipment available to low-resource settings.
What: Pufferfish is a full-featured ICU ventilator designed to be clinically relevant for COVID-19 patients. It is the focus of an ongoing international collaboration between three universities in the US and industrial partners in India, Nepal, Kenya, and the US.
Why: Recent progress in microscopy hardware, software, and techniques have enabled new methods for making biological discoveries, yet the cost of hardware makes them accessible only to labs at well-resourced research institutions.
What: Squid is a full suite of modular and open-source hardware and software components and configurations to quickly implement portable facility-grade widefield microscopes and other application-specific imaging capabilities at a fraction of the cost of commercial solutions ($500-$10k vs. $50k-$120k).
Why: Centrifugation is a crucial step in many diagnostic procedures. But while many open-source designs have been proposed, no design has emerged as a standard for diagnostic use in low-resource settings.
What: Handyfuge is a proof-of-concept of a modular, safety-first design for hand-powered centrifugation. Handyfuge's modularity and compatibility with distributed manufactuing technologies will be used to investigate strategies for platform design and community-building to enable broad exploration of design variations, scale-up, and rapid adaptation and implementation of diagnostic assays for local needs.
Why: Access to quantitative, robust, yet affordable diagnostic tools is necessary to reduce global infectious disease burden.
What: Octopi is a low-cost ($250-$500) automated imaging platform which can quantify malaria parasitemia by scanning 1.5 million red blood cells per minute.
Why: The behavior and microscale processes associated with freely suspended organisms and sinking particles underlie key ecological processes in the ocean. Mechanistically studying such multiscale processes in the laboratory presents a considerable challenge for microscopy: how to measure single cells at microscale resolution, while allowing them to freely move hundreds of meters in the vertical direction?
What: Gravity Machine is a solution in the form of a scale-free, vertical tracking microscope, based on a "hydrodynamic treadmill" with no bounds for motion along the axis of gravity.
These projects are proofs-of-concept and require further development before they will be ready for reuse.
Why: Monitoring of plankton biodiversity informs our understanding of marine ecosystem dynamics, but prior monitoring programs were limited in scale due to their underlying technologies. The PlanktoScope is a low-cost instrument enabling continuous plankton monitoring at a global scale, but it needs coordination infrastructure to realize a global monitoring program.
What: PlanktoScope Live will be a global robotic microscopy network to investigate and monitor the spatiotemporal dynamics of plankton communities, enabling microscopy at ecological scales (spatial & temporal); integration of longitudinal measurements across the world into comparative datasets; sharing of instrument access, data, and scientific knowledge among professional & citizen scientists; and real-time teleoperation and social data annotation.
Why: COVID-19 testing access is still limited for many people due to cost, usability, and other factors.
What: SnapDx is a saliva-based home surveillance monitoring test for SARS-CoV-2 infection.