I used to spend many hours working on microscopes, but now that the job has changed I am no longer playing around with microscopes.
So you can imagine my excitement when I had the opportunity to develop a behavioral setup for microorganisms. There’s plenty of interesting and fascinating questions to ask in the microcosmos but when you join neuroscience and behavior at the micro-scale, it gets really mind-blowing!
So I built my own mini-microscope + behavioral setup using 3D printed parts, Raspberry Pi and LEGO! Yes, Lego!! I love LEGO and my mind was blown away when I discovered that most of the electronic components (including the Pi NoIR Camera and 3 mm LEDs) fit perfectly in lego parts! This gives me the flexibility I need to adapt the miniscope to different 3D-printed behavioral chambers.
The design is still work in progress. One thing to improve is the overall robustness: I initially went for a sleek, cool, light (and usable) design but a more robust design may be required for the actual experiments.
What I am aiming for is a “functional” design, meaning I need a strong support for the camera with the option to quickly insert it on different behavioral chambers. This may require to have a single core with the optics and multiple, interchangeable parts that can be rapidly attached to different chambers.
Being this hooked up to a raspberry Pi, the experiments can be simply run with Python for controlling the hardware (wavelength, temperature …) and tracking the subject in the image.