The microbes in your bioreactor need fresh food. Let’s get rid of the manual feeding and connect syringe & peristaltic pumps. You will also learn more about feed stocks and other substrates. We’ll go a bit deeper into metabolic networks too.


Pump Designs

This week you can build two types of pumps. As with the other projects, each of the devices has its own github repository.

Some notes on the source files and designs

  • Code: We have included the LiquidCrystal_I2C library. However, as there are multiple libraries named LiquidCrystal_I2C around on the web, if you have included one in your Arduino libraries directory it can result in a conflict (errors during compilation). Temporarily remove the library from your Arduino libraries directory.
  • Peristaltic pump: the design of the pump depends on the diameter of the tube. In case you use a different type, you will need to adjust the diameters. In our design we used HelixMark™ tubes (internal diameter 6.35 mm; external diameter 9.55 mm)
  • Syringe pump: the mounting interface between the pump and the syringe depends on the type of syringe you use. In our design we used a MediWare 60mL syringe (REF: I3 040800).

  • Functional and technical requirements

Syringe pump

This pump is best for moving small volumes of liquids.

Syringe Pump

Peristaltic pump

Peristaltic pumps are best used in continious flow systems or for pumping large volumes.

Peristaltic Pump Sketchup

Finished peristaltic pump: Peristaltic Pump in action

Watch the pump in action on Youtube

Bill of Materials

In order to take part in this class you will need the following materials:


Answer the following questions in your documentation:

  • What does the reactor do? What product has been made?
  • From what designs is it derived?
  • Which parts have been custom made, by what machine?
  • What are all the components and how much do they cost?
  • How is it assembled?
  • What can be improved?

Additional reading and hacking

Feeling lazy?

Go ahead and buy some pumps: