Any thoughts on a pioreactor modified to have less volume and more cultures?

I imagine it would be reasonably easy to modify the single culture pioreactor to control several cultures at once (maybe even something like 10-12 cultures at 1-2 ml each?) for multiple experiments at a time. Has anyone here contemplated exactly how to do this?

The most obvious challenge to me is keeping the liquid handling system efficient (e.g. number of tubes/pumps) while also ensuring no cross contamination. Any others come to mind?

I’ve seen this post about controlling multiple units with one raspberry pi, but I wonder if one unit with multiple cultures is more reasonable.


I don’t think this would be particularly easy, unfortunately. Volume isn’t the issue, really, it’s the requirement for a set of heating, stirring, photodiode and pump PWM outputs for each culture.

Wouldn’t this do the trick? Adafruit 16-Channel 12-bit PWM/Servo Driver - I2C interface [PCA9685] : ID 815 : $14.95 : Adafruit Industries, Unique & fun DIY electronics and kits

16-channel 12-bit PWM driver, PCA9685.

I also think it would be difficult, and probably a re-architecture of the system (hardware and electronics certainly - software would be adaptable). It would be out of scope to support something like this normally.

The system would probably have (at least) 1 uController per reactor, and the Raspberry Pi controlling each uC. For such small volumes, the mixing might have to be a shaker instead of a stir bar. Using a shaker allows for optics then, too. Really, it would look like a microplate reader. If you wanted per reactor specific heating and dosing, it becomes more difficult.

The reason we designed one bioreactor per Raspberry Pi was for modularity. Instead of being stuck with 1, 2, 4 or 8 reactors per system, you can more easily scale to any number N of reactors in your system. Start with 1, move to 3, then 12, etc.