The mesoSPIM (mesoscale selective plane illumination microscopy) project creates open-hardware microscopy platforms for imaging cleared tissue samples. The microscopy setup costs between $170,000 to $240,000 including the optical table and most importantly, the laser itself which will run you between $40,000 to $110,000. This stretches the definition of “On The Cheap”, but the project is open-source and massive and worth letting people know about.
The “paper” is on the biorxiv, but the actual paper is in the supplementary materials. Between the detailed supplementary materials, GitHub instructions , open source control software, and a list of existing setups this project has about as much resources as you could ask for. The GitHub instructions include parts list, so you’ll be able to get quotes and see how much exactly the project will cost you in your country. The original quotes for the numbers above are from Switzerland. For a summary form the people who made the device, check out their twitter thread announcing the MesoSPIM’s pre-print.
MesoSPIM is brought to you by
Fabian Voigt, Daniel Kirschenbaum , Evgenia Platonova, Stéphane Pagès, Robert Campbell, Rahel Kästli, Martina Schaettin, Ladan Egolf, Alexander van der Bourg, Philipp Bethge, Karen Haenraets, Noémie Frézel, Thomas Topilko, Paola Perin, Daniel Hillier, Sven Hildebrand, Anna Schueth, Alard Roebroeck, Botond Roska, Esther Stoeckli, Roberto Pizzala, Nicolas Renier, Hanns Zeilhofer, Theofanis Karayannis, Urs Ziegler, Laura Batti, Anthony Holtmaat, Christian Lüscher, Adriano Aguzzi, and Fritjof Helmchen