Optical Projection Tomography (OPT) is a microscopy technique suited to mostly transparent specimens of ~10 mm. OPT requires the collection of a number of images (projections) of a sample taken from different angles. In practice, this means as rotating a sample around an axis in a precise manner. These images can be fed into mathematical algorithms to produce 3D volume data (computed tomography). Now there is a cheap open-source hardware and software OPT system comprised of off-the-shelf parts, that will cost you just $3000.
The supplementary material includes a price list and bare bones directions for assembly. OptiJ isn’t just the device though, it’s also the open-source software that has been developed to work alongside the hardware. The software comes in the form of an ImageJ/FIJI plugin with sample data and source code.
The $3000 price tag does not include a Camera. Here they use an Andor Clara which would roughly double the price tag of the device. The authors note that “a less expensive option with similar specifications can be used instead. The ATIK 414EX and ATIK420 cameras were tested with OptiJ and can be readily implemented with similar performance.”
The authors of the publication require a paragraph to themselves. This project was created by Pedro Ramirez, Joseph Zammit, Oliver Vanderpoorten, Fergus Riche, François-Xavier Blé, Xiao-Hong Zhou, Bogdan Spiridon, Christopher Valentine, Simeon Spasov, Pelumi Oluwasanya, Gemma Goodfellow, Marcus Fantham, Omid Siddiqui, Farah Alimagham, Miranda Robbins, Andrew Stretton, Dimitrios Simatos, Oliver Hadeler, Eric Rees, Florian Ströhl, Romain Laine, and Clemens Kaminski .