Project showcase
Microbial Bioreactor (Biofermentor)

Microbial Bioreactor (Biofermentor) © LGPL

A fully-controlled, multi-option, microbial bioreactor for long-term processing.

  • 12 respects

Components and supplies

Necessary tools and machines

Solder Wire, Lead Free
Wire Stripper & Cutter, 32-20 AWG / 0.05-0.5mm² Solid & Stranded Wires
09507 01
Soldering iron (generic)
Hy gluegun
Hot glue gun (generic)
Metal box
3D Printer (generic)

About this project

(My apologies. I will update the project slowly, and will try to add full description for the whole process.)


A bioreactor refers to any manufactured device or system that supports a biologically active environment. In one case, a bioreactor is a vessel in which a chemical process is carried out which involves organisms or biochemically active substances derived from such organisms. This process can either be aerobic or anaerobic. These bioreactors are commonly cylindrical, ranging in size from litres to cubic metres, and are often made of stainless steel.

It may also refer to a device or system designed to grow cells or tissues in the context of cell culture. These devices are being developed for use in tissue engineering or biochemical engineering.

On the basis of mode of operation, a bioreactor may be classified as batch, fed batch or continuous (e.g. a continuous stirred-tank reactor model). An example of a continuous bioreactor is the chemostat.

Most of the commercial products are a bit expensive in regards to the fresh and young scientist research funding, so its better to customize your own device in easy way.

The current design targeting the continous long term bioreactor. The general design as shown below. The model will is 6 reactors in row, each unit will be driven using 3 peristaltic pump, equipped with Turbidity sensor, plus mini solenoid valve (switch) for sampling. The design is totally closed system with very little (to rare) chance of contamination.

The design is composed also of magnetic stirring and water bath, and other heating methods for incubation.

The control panel as shown below is designed mainly based on the MegunoLink software kit.

Three main designs will be displayed in the current project, however the principle for all of them is the same, Arduino UNO or Arduino MEGA plus Adafruit motor shield V1, and V2.

Power supplies will be divided for powering Arduino based on 9V-40amp, and separately powering the motor shield using 12V-40 amp.

The reason behind separately powering the MCU and the motor shield is to decrease the noises during the turbidity measurements to acquire more clean and stable readings of bacterial growth rate.

Each combined Arduino with motor shield are considered as electronic base of one bioreactor unit.

The coding is based on four different operating option using 1-Auto-system, 2- manual system, 3- Manual-OD based system, and 4- continuous feeding system. All are regards to the timing of the feeding/waste pump on and off.

The coding uses each pump in two directions as a strategy to avoid any contamination.

Material and methods:

1- Electronic parts:

As mentioned above the electronics are mainly based on Arduino UNO or MEGA + the Adafruit motor shield V1 and V 2.0.

All chips are Chinese imitation of the original one, which is really cheap on the Chinese giant E-market (TAOBAO), the two kit combined cost around 50 Yuan, which lets than 10 dollars.

2- Peristaltic pump

peristaltic pump, are the tricky point of this project, you can find many mini peristaltic pumps available very cheap but not easy to calibrate the volume, you have to choose the best AND cheap design between all available pumps in the markets.

I will update soon with many taobao links for good and cheap mini motor based peristaltic pump.

3- Wires

This part could be primitive for the professional electronic guys, but its really tricky for the beginners and biologist who have no experience in electrical issues before, like me. All what i can tell you here, use non-copper (Nikel) between the chip and the motors. I used copper at beginning and it was really bad for the pump speed.

4- COOLing

this is the MOST important part, that machine you see in the third group of the combined pics, is almost working for over 7 months no-stop. All that because of the Cooling, USe good cooling system, REALLY GOOD, to keep your chip always low temperature, it could be little noisy but it worth it.I use almost 4 big fans (12V-1.5Amp) for 6 combined kit (Arduino plus motor shield).

5- Power supply

As I mentioned above, I use two different power supply for the MCU and the motor shield.

6- Turbidity sensor,

Is too easy IR LED based turbidity sensor, you can construct it less than 0.5 USD, or just buy the turbidity sensor that same one as in your washing machine.

7- 3D modeling

I use 3D max for modeling, you can use whatever, my main models is for the turbidity sensor chamber.

8- Backend programming

I think I no need to mention about that, surely I used Arduino IDE, I will upload the code soon with full description (it's a little messy now :D).

9- Frontend programming

I use here this fantastic tool

10- The liquid tube and glass designs

Are will be uploaded with illustrations so soon.

If you have any question you can text me here in comments or Email me,

I will update the content here a little slow until we reach to the best useful content shape.



Ahmed egomaa
  • 2 projects

Additional contributors

Published on

August 17, 2019

Members who respect this project

DefaultChamuko72Foto tessera 4bis 0ezespvoos

and 9 others

See similar projects
you might like

Similar projects you might like

Microbial Bioreactor

Project in progress by Team Open Bioeconomy Lab

  • 67 respects

UW-Makeathon Bio-View: A modular bioreactor for cell culture

Project in progress by 3 developers

  • 15 respects

Multi-Dashboard Display with Arduino Controller

Project showcase by Colin O'Dell

  • 80 respects

Basic Calculator

Project showcase by FZD1416

  • 8 respects

QuizBox - The Offline Internet Quiz

Project tutorial by 8bitsandabyte

  • 2 respects

Automated Microbial Fuel Cell

Project in progress by Fransie Streicher and Kaamil-Inaam Naicker

  • 7 respects
Add projectSign up / Login