Get Biohacking with a DIY CO2 Incubator

The [Pelling Lab] have been iterating over their DIY CO2 incubator for a while now, and it looks like there’s a new version in the works.


We’ve covered open source Biolab equipment before including incubators but not a CO2 incubator. Incubators allow you to control the temperature and atmosphere in a chamber. The incubator built by the [Pelling Lab] regulates the chambers temperature and CO2 levels allowing them to culture cells under optimal conditions.

While commercial incubators can cost thousands of dollars the [Pelling Lab] used a Styrofoam box, space blanket, and SodaStream tank among other low cost parts. The most expensive component was a CO2 sensor which cost $230. The rig uses an Arduino for feedback and control. With a total BOM cost of $350 their solution is cost effective, and provides an open platform for further development.

The original write up is full of useful information, but recent tweets suggest a new and improved version is on the way and we look forward to hearing more about this exciting DIYBio project!

DIY Incubator Cooks Bacteria… Or Yogurt!


Ever wonder what kind of fecal content is in your drinking water? Do you also like yogurt? If so, this DIY Bacteria Incubator is just for you!

[Robin] is part of the BioDesign team for the Real-World project which is an interdisciplinary project featuring biology, electronics, and environmental sciences to bring together solutions for real world water problems. Since it’s a community oriented project they strive to keep it open-source and well-documented in order to share with everyone.

The DIY Incubator is a rather simple tool that can be used to help analyze water for fecal contamination, which is a problem in many third world countries. It consists of a styrofoam box, a light bulb and a home-brew Arduino which provides the PID control of the heat. For bacterial analysis, regular coliform bacteria live at 35C, while fecal coliform prefer about 44C — if incubated at these temperatures the bacteria will make itself known very quickly (within about 24 hours).

Oh and if you don’t want to find out how dirty your water is, you can also make yogurt instead. Check out a short demonstration of the incubator after the break.

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