$400 for an open-source syringe pump and microscope system? Meet Poseiden.

Poseidon is a well documented open source microfluidics and imaging system consisting of a set of three DIY syringe pumps for $180 and a compatible microscope for $220. Poseidon is documented in a paper on BioRxiv by A. Sina Booeshaghi, Eduardo Beltrame, Dylan Bannon, Jase Gehring, and Lior Pachter . In the paper, the system is benchmarked to Harvard Apparatus components that can literally cost an order of magnitude more.

Poseidon has several 3D printed parts in its design, and the STL and CAD files can be found on the projects GitHub as well as on Thingiverse which has a (sometimes) helpful comments section. The exact commercial components required are laid out in this beautiful Bill of Materials, along with Amazon links. Those components include run of the mill Rasberry Pi boards and such, but also this cute amazing little USB microscope which needs its own post.

Of course, software, DIY instructions, and additional information can be found on the projects GitHub.

We’ve got to say, we are really blown away by the documentation on this project. Poseidon has assembly videos for every component of the system. There are step-by-step instructions for Python or Arduino installation, and extensive tips and suggestions for getting the system up and running. It has a startup checklist, complete with GUI screenshots and video to walk you through the system. And did we mention these terrific assembly and operation videos?

All that’s great, because Poseidon is operating in a fairly crowded space of open-Source Syringe Pumps and all-in-one systems such as the brilliant NanoJ Fluidics and OMIS projects. The Poseidon project stands out with above-and-beyond documentation and the more documentation that exists the easier it is for people to latch onto these open-source options over their expensive commercial counteprats.